Barcelona (ACN).- Foreigners living in Spain and without contributing to the Social Security system will have to pay between €710 and €1,860 to be allowed access to public healthcare. All emergencies, pregnant women and young people below 18 will not be affected and still have guaranteed universal access. The Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality has confirmed to ACN it is preparing formulas to allow immigrants to continue accessing the public healthcare system if they pay a fee. The Spanish Government announced the plan to restrict universal access to healthcare in early May. The Catalan Government has already stated that it will guarantee universal access to community health centres in Catalonia. In Spain, Autonomous Communities are those managing the public healthcare system.
According to a decision by the Spanish Government, foreigners who have not contributed to the Social Security will have to pay a monthly fee to have access to the regular healthcare system. Those below 65 years old will have to pay €59.20 per month, which totals €710 per year. Those 65 years old or more will have to pay €155 per month, representing €1,860 per year. Foreigners that do not contribute to the Social Security are jobless or without a legal working contract.
The measure will also affect Spanish citizens who have never worked and have an annual income of more than €100,000. It will also affect European citizens who voluntarily want to be treated by the Spanish healthcare system. Any kind of emergency, pregnant women (including pre and post-birth treatments) and people below 18 will continue to have guaranteed access and free of charge.
Universal access guaranteed in Catalonia
The Catalan Government has confirmed to ACN that, in Catalonia, universal access to primary healthcare will be guaranteed, despite the Spanish Government’s measure, which still needs to be studied in detail. The Catalan Government emphasised its legal obligation to provide immigrants with a regular doctor without having to pay any fee. Regarding further specialised services, the Catalan Institute for Health is studying measures to open access to them.