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By Fiona Moore, for ExpatBriefing.com
13 October, 2014
Britain's Department of Health is warning UK expats in Spain that they must register properly with Spanish authorities to ensure that they are fully protected by the country's state health system, and that the process can take several weeks.
The Department has produced a video, entitled "Moving to Spain? Think about Healthcare!," which also makes clear that expats are not covered by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC is designed for temporary visitors to the country only.
According to the Department, there could be up to 20,000 UK pensioners who have not registered correctly for healthcare in Spain. It says that 7,888 Britons received healthcare forms from the UK last year but didn't then register with the authorities in Spain.
Service users who have not completed the registration process are treated as private patients. The Department has drawn attention to the case of a woman from Gandia in Valencia, who is currently facing a large bill after being treated for cancer.
Hannah Thronicker, head of the Department of Health team in Spain, describes the video as a "must-see." The Department is encouraging Britons living in Spain to share the video with friends and family who are living in or thinking of moving to the country.
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