Healthcare for immigrants proposed

SPAIN is considering providing primary healthcare services to illegal immigrants who have been registered in one place for at least a year.
At the latest Interregional Health Department meeting, the Ministry of Health put the proposal to the regions at the request of the PSOE socialist led regions, some of which already provide the service although it has yet to be agreed on at a national level.
Immigrants without their paperwork in order would, after at least one year registered on the padron (residence registry) where they are living, be able to apply for a document which would allow them access to primary healthcare when presented with a valid passport. Access to specialists would remain at the discretion of GPs.
Yet Alfonso Alonso, Minister for Health, Social Services and Equality, has said that care must be taken to avoid opening the doors to health tourism and that document holders would not be eligible for care in other countries at Spain’s expense.
The Ministry intends to continue negotiating with the regional departments in order to hopefully approve the measure at the next meeting.

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