SPAIN is to be taken to court over its refusal to give expat pensioners free medicine.
The European Commission is bringing the case to the European Court of Justice insisting that the country is discriminating against pensioners from northern Europe.
Under EU law, pensioners residing here should be allowed to use their European Health Insurance Card to receive healthcare under the same conditions as Spaniards.
The Spanish health ministry however, insist they have the right to deny free medication because the card does not indicate whether or not they are pensioners.
It says it is not discriminatory and that it has complained for years that the card fails to specifically identify pensioners.
To get free medication, foreign pensioners currently have to show an additional social security document certifying – in Spanish – that they receive a pension.
Brussels argues that demanding this additional document is contrary to the purpose of the European Health Insurance Card, which aims at simplifying procedures.
British pensioners currently have to request a free certificate from the British Consulate confirming their status when seeking prescriptions.