A campaign to explain how British citizens in Spain should use UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) has been launched by the UK Department of Health and the Valencia Health Authority.
The EHIC Campaign aims to greatly raise awareness among British citizens and Spanish healthcare staff in the Valencia Autonomous Community over the next 15 months. The innovative partnership between a UK government department and a Spanish regional authority has been recognised by the European Union, which is funding the campaign.
Launching the campaign in Alicante, David Pennington, Head of the Department of Health’s International Healthcare team, said:
“Many British citizens living in Spain are confused about how to access state healthcare and many use their EHIC cards when they should be accessing healthcare in another way. This campaign explains who can use a UK-issued EHIC and what it’s for. It also tells people about other ways to access state healthcare in Spain, depending on their circumstances.”
What you should know about the UK European Health Insurance Card
The UK European Health Insurance Card should only be used to access medically-necessary state treatment during the course of a temporary stay in Spain. It does not provide access to all state treatment but for those in Spain on a temporary stay, it is the correct way to access state healthcare.
However British citizens who live mainly in Spain should change the way they are registered, because for them the UK European Health Insurance Card is not the correct form of health cover. The new EHIC marketing and advertising campaign will explain how to do this.
The campaign will also explain to the administrative staff of the Valencia Health Authority how the UK covers its citizens in Spain and how the UK reimburses Spain for the cost of medical care provided to British citizens.
British citizens can find comprehensive information on the use of EHICs at http://www.healthcareinspain.eu. An extensive radio and newspaper advertising campaign will further promote the correct use of EHICs, and leaflets will be distributed through health centres and at public events.
There will be 18 public talks, starting in Denia on 27th February and in Orihuela Costa on 28th February. More details can be found on the http://www.healthcareinspain.eu website.
Some two million British tourists visit the Valencia region every year and there are an estimated 300,000 British residents in the region, some 40% of the total in Spain. Although the campaign is centered on Valencia, much of the information is relevant to British citizens across Spain.