The Minister for Health of the Canary Islands, Brígida Mendoza confirmed yesterday that all users of the Canary Islands Health Service (SCS), whether they be immigrants or not, will continue receive help for any condition they are currently being treated for, until they are discharged.
Mendoza was responding to one of the most controversial measures of the Spanish Government aimed at saving costs by limiting the availability of health care for illegal aliens who, from September 1, will only be attended to in the ER, or if they are pregnant, or if they are under 18 years old.
Those foreigners, including European nationals, who do not have entitlement to Spanish state health cover will no longer be able to be seen by a GP, or be referred to a specialist in non-emergency situations.
Entitlement is established either by currently making contributions to the Spanish Social security system or by having entitlement through a reciprocal scheme by way of an S1 or European health card, or by being registered as unemployed and having no income.
“Illegal Immigrants can rest easy, we will not allow inequalities. All those with a current illness will continue to be treated until they are discharged from hospital” reiterated Mendoza.
Also, responding to the concern of doctors that withdrawing health cover to a sector of the population will result in the spread of communicable diseases (like AIDS or tuberculosis), Mendoza said: “There is no question, all public health related diseases have been and will be treated, diagnosed and monitored by the Canary Islands Health Service, regardless of entitlement to healthcare. ”