Malaga’s Tourism damaged by Healthcare Insurance?

The vibrant city of Malaga is regarded as must see tourist hotspot with it’s sunny, bright weather alongside a plethora of cultural attractions such as the rustic architecture of the Malaga Cathedral in addition to the many museums. However with  new changes to healthcare insurance, the Tourism industry can see a strong decline. Expats from outside the EU who are returning to the UK are now required to pay a 150% sum of the cost of the treatment if they lack the appropriate healthcare insurance. This policy can prove to be a blow to a European Tourism hotspot such as Malaga which thrives on a strong  Expat community.

Due to this strong increase in charges,  tourists and members of the  expat community alike have found themselves turning to private healthcare. Expat, Marim Larijani,  residing in Malaga expressed her preference towards private healthcare.

‘I have to go privately, its very hard to get healthcare if you are not a resident here…..we don’t have that kind of insurance, but if I feel sick here, then I do have to do it privately’ Marim Larijani.

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The policy came into effect last April, the policy is a means of saving the NHS a sum of £500 million by the year 2018.

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These charges can be avoided through the use of an EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card). Those who apply for and receive the EHIC card are exempt from such charges. For a successful application the card must be issued by the owner’s country of residence as stated by the Department of Health:

“As is the case already, most people who live or work in another EEA country or Switzerland will continue to get free NHS care using an EHIC issued by the country they live in. This means the NHS can reclaim health care costs from the original country of residence.” Press statement from the NHS department of Health.

The charges will mainly apply towards Hospitals.  A & E treatment and GP meeting will be free of charge provided that patients expect to be asked questions about their state of residence.

The policy came into effect last April, it is hoping to contribute to  saving the NHS a sum of £500 million by the year 2018. This serves as a strong reminder that if you are planning to enjoy the tapas bars and museums somewhere such as Malaga has to offer, make sure Health insurance is prepared and covered.

 

 Alex Marnelakis

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