Minister José Manuel García-Margallo said, “We must obtain an agreement whereby British residents can use the Spanish health system, but paid for by the UK.”
He made this statement before a gathering of businessmen in Alicante, referring to the Brexit negotiations
He described the longstanding reluctance of Britain to advance within a closer European integration as a “delaying mentality,” but added that the Brexit should be taken as an opportunity to move ahead along the road towards a “United States of Europe.”
The Minister considers that a similar deal the one between the EU and Canada (which is still not in force) could be struck with the UK once negotiations begin in 2017; i.e., an arrangement that permits free trade to a level of almost 99%..
He pointed out that just in the province of Alicante there are 86,000 British residents and that in around 30 municipalities they represent 20% of the population. In the cases of Llíber, San Fulgencio or Daya Vieja, it’s up near the 40% mark. In Algorfa it stands at 52%.
Editorial comment: evidently, the present system of E111‘s etc will cease by early 2019 if negotiations are triggered at the beginning of next year but some other sort of health-system exchange will take its place. One thing is for sure is that abusive ‘health tourism’ market will become history.
Even without this shameful practice, the fact is that health costs between the two countries was always lopsided as Spaniards living in the UK tend to be younger, requiring less health treatment, whereas the expat Brits tend to be around retirement age and thus more exacting on the health system.