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Health Care Benefits

As we have analysed, the Spanish Constitution provided for the entitlement to health protection for all citizens and, in the implementation of this entitlement a new concept "universal" was drawn up for the health care benefit, in all cases due to loss of health.

Furthermore, it guarantees the effective equality of the entire population with regard to health care benefits and the non-existence of any discrimination in the access to, as well as the administration and system of providing health care services.

The regulatory framework defined by the constitutional and legal provisions, guarantees health protection, equality and accessibility to adequate health care, to which all citizens are entitled irrespective of their place of residence, and with the benefits being implemented through the National Health System´s portfolio of common services, which includes the techniques, technologies and procedures covered by the System.

The General Health Care Act extends the coverage of the benefit to persons who are without financial resources and are not included in the health care of the Social Security System.

However, it was in 1989 when the right to Social Security health care benefits for Spanish citizens residing in national territory and without sufficient financial resources was granted and implemented. This health care was granted with an identical scope and content as that provided for in the General Scheme of the Social Security.

Following the entry into force of the law on rights and liberties of foreign citizens in Spain and their social integration, foreign citizens who find themselves in Spain and registered on the electoral register of the town in which they regularly reside, are entitled to health care under the same terms as Spanish citizens.

In addition, foreign citizens who are in Spain (although they do not reside in Spain) are entitled to emergency public health care in the event of serious diseases or injuries, irrespective of their cause and the continuation of said care until they are granted medical discharge; if it is a minor under 18 years of age, the health care is granted under the same terms as with Spanish citizens and, finally, foreign citizens who are pregnant and are located in Spain are entitled to health care during the pregnancy, birth and post-natal period.

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