Prada (ACN).- The Catalan Minister for Health, Boi Ruiz, has given his reaction to Friday’s official publication of the 417 drugs that will be excluded from the Spanish Social Security subsidies as from September. Aiming to reduce public spending in order to meet the deficit targets, the Spanish Government decided to stop partially funding some prescribed drugs for minor symptoms, such as heartburn, muscle pain or diarrhoea. This Friday, the official list with the 417 medicines has been published, including some of the most consumed drugs for common pains. According to the Spanish Health Minister, the measure will save €458 million this year. Since many doctors oppose this measure, the Catalan Health Minister warned that the measure could ultimately be counter-productive, since more expensive drugs with similar effects and still subsidised by the Social Security may be prescribed, which would increase public healthcare spending instead of reducing it. Ruiz clarified that he was just giving a “hypothesis”, not making a prediction.
Boi Ruiz has again confirmed that the Catalan Healthcare System will take care of immigrants without legal residence status, but it will study each case in detail to avoid “healthcare tourism”. The Spanish Government decided to exclude from the public healthcare system foreigners that had not contributed to the Spanish Social Security. Some exemptions were included, mainly emergencies, children and pregnant women. Furthermore, immigrants without legal residence could be treated regularly by the public healthcare system if they paid between €710 and €1860 per year. The Catalan Government refused the measure excluding immigrants without legal residence from the regular healthcare system as it believes it could cause greater health problems and ultimately increase healthcare spending.