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The NEW Spanish Medical Care

4 May

Ana Matos, the current Spanish Secretary of State for Health.

Which medicines will be excluded? It remains unknown. There will be two ways to withdraw medicaments from public funding. On the one hand, the obsolete ones will be removed, those whose functions have already been improved and there have appeared more modern ones. This does not mean there will be savings of any kind, since they have become useless it is logical to have stopped using them. On the other hand, with regards to mild symptoms medicines, there is not even a list. The fact of the matter is that there are some specifics (antidiarrheal drugs, cough suppressants) labelled in two different groups: the POM medicaments or the P and GSL drugs. The Department of Health point is to join them in one group, the behind-the-counter group, so they will not have to be supported by the civil service. The problem remains in the using of those medicines, whether there are some for mild symptoms and others for more serious ones, as said by the Association for the Self-Care of Health, the Spanish ANEFP. This is the reason for the importance of following every single case.

Will there be co-pay on ambulance service, prosthesis and diet therapies? The set of values established in the Royal Decree is the same as for medicines. In these cases there will not be a co-pay limit for the patient. It is unrevealed yet how will every region proceed. The co-pay is already set in many of them. In some cases it is in larger scale than in others. The decree shall only fix a minimum to be subsidized by the civil service, such as the pensioners’ 90%, but every region might always fund the rest. The same would happen if a region decides to give more assistance than the minimum common portfolio does (for example, paying every citizen’s glasses). In that case it would have to pay them with its own capital, not with the central government’s.

Will people have to renew the Health Care Card? No. The data web of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, used to select the amount of taxes to pay for a single person, will be restricted for the user. The levels of income will be kept in the central computers of the Health Local Department and, according to that, it will calculate the payments.
How much will the pensioners have to pay? In general (those who do not exceed 100,000 euros per year), they will have to pay the 10% of the medicine’s total amount. That co-payment will have a limit per month: if it passes from between 8 to 18 euros a month (according to de income scale) the regional government will have to refund the difference and they will have six months to do so. For example, if a pensioner spends 200 euros in medicaments he or she will only pay 20. If the limit is 8 euros, the other 12 will have to be refund before the sixth month. Pensioners with incomes beyond 100,000 euros will have to pay the 60%, but never more than 60 euros per month.

What about those who do not have any income? Just like until now, the person would have the possibility to go to the Social Security Agency to ask for a certificate from the Ministry of Economy and Finance to have his or her own Health Care Card, if he or she is Spanish or resident.

Who will be excluded? There are many doubts yet to solve about 26 years old people, and older, who have never paid contributions (students, rentiers, and some other groups such as priests and nuns). The DoH announced there will be solutions for every case.

What will happen with foreigners? Just the legalized residents will have the right to possess a Health Care Card. The others will only be treated in Emergency Departments, though there might be exceptions, such as patients with infectious diseases.

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