As element of the British government’s no-deal communications programme, it issued a statement on Monday September 23rd outlining healthcare access for Brits living in EU 27 nations.

In the occasion of a no-deal Brexit, the statement committed the government to funding six months of healthcare for additional than 180,000 UK nationals, i.e. these currently getting free of charge wellness cover, particularly pensioners and students. The announcement triggered quick panic and anxiousness amongst British citizens in Spain.

Study Much more: ‘It’s torture’: How ailing pensioners in Europe have turn into the human expense of Brexit

Throughout March 2019, the Spanish government issued its Royal Decree to shield Brits in Spain. In the occasion of a no-deal Brexit, this decree guarantees us continuing healthcare till the finish of 2020.

Even so, the supply only stands if the British government reciprocates relating to the remedy of Spanish citizens in the UK.  While the Spanish supply is not concrete, it did reassure the British neighborhood in Spain that our host nation has our finest interests at heart.

On Monday, we naturally assumed that the most current statement from the British government overruled the earlier 1 from the Spanish government. The story received considerable press coverage all through the UK and Europe, which reinforced these widespread assumptions.

These relying on free of charge healthcare, or expecting to do so in the future, asked how they would afford private healthcare, or if they would even qualify for private wellness insurance coverage with pre-current healthcare circumstances. Apart from genuine issues about funding future healthcare, lots of had been also worried they would be left with no option but to return to the UK to use the NHS.

Inside a couple of hours, we realised that the statement from the British government did not apply to British citizens in Spain – just these living in the rest of the EU.

The British Embassy was fast to clarify the scenario with an update that was welcome, informative and prompt. There was, nevertheless, no additional communication from the British government – they merely updated their internet site to confirm that the supply of six months healthcare did not apply to these of us in Spain.

The internet site stated: “The UK and Spain have every single taken methods to make certain that people today living in every single nation can continue to access healthcare as they do now till at least 31 December 2020. This indicates that your healthcare access will stay the identical soon after 31 October 2019, what ever the Brexit scenario”.

With £100 million getting spent by the government on no-deal propaganda, this most current government cock-up did practically nothing to enhance the standing of the British government in the eyes of Brits abroad.

We have been ignored for as well lengthy, left out of the conversation and treated as bargaining chips. Right after years of paying in to the British program, it is worrying to believe we may not acquire what’s due to us.  For the government to then get its information incorrect, but not bother to inform us straight of their error, starts to appear not so significantly like carelessness as a lack of interest.

Like thousands of other people, I moved to Spain expecting free of charge healthcare for life. I paid into the National Wellness Service for 38 years. I did not envisage paying for private healthcare or prescription charges in my retirement.

National Wellness Insurance coverage has that name for a explanation. When you spend into an insurance coverage policy for years, you count on payback when it is essential. Whether or not I invest my retirement in Bradford, Bournemouth or Barcelona ought to not make any distinction to the cover I acquire.

The British government had much better smart up and make a firm commitment on healthcare and pensions. The fees to the Exchequer are far significantly less if we remain exactly where we are, than if we return to the UK for healthcare remedy. Bearing in thoughts the severe challenges currently facing the NHS, does the government want thousands of angry pensioners, maybe with pricey healthcare requirements, turning up in Westminster?

By Sue Wilson – Chair of Bremain in Spain

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