Spanish ministers have approved Royal Decree-Law 7/2018 for the provision of universal healthcare on the National Health System. Its main aim is to guarantee healthcare for all and to include vulnerable groups, especially migrants who are not registered or authorized to reside in Spain.

Prior to this regulation, health care for such persons was limited to assistance in cases of emergency due to serious illness or accident and during pregnancy, childbirth and post-natal care.

Since the entry into force of this regulation, all persons who are in Spain have the same right to healthcare as to persons with Spanish nationality. In this way, the collectives that were excluded by Royal Decree-Law 16/2012 will be allowed to receive comprehensive health care from the Spanish system. Likewise, they are granted the same access as people with Spanish nationality to medicines and pharmaceutical goods from pharmacies.

Their healthcare will be financed by public funds of the relevant Spanish administrations, provided that said persons meet the following requirements:

i) They do not have the obligation to access health care by other means, by virtue of the provisions of European Union law, bilateral agreements and other applicable regulations,
ii) They are not able to access the right to health coverage from their country of origin or provenance,
iii) They do not have a third party obliged to pay their health care.

However, healthcare for these collectives does not include the right to health coverage financed by government funds outside Spanish territory.

The Autonomous Communities, within the scope of their powers, will determine the procedure for the application and issuance of the certification document that allows foreigners to receive assistance.

In those cases in which foreign persons have not exceeded the period of temporary stay referred to in Law 4/2000 on Rights and Freedoms of Foreigners in Spain and their Social Integration (90 days), the issuance of a prior report will be mandatory from the Autonomous Communities social services.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.