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UP to 1.5 million of the country’s public healthcare workers and their families could lose their medical insurance cover this year.

The crisis has been triggered by cuts in the number of hospitals and doctors paid through Muface, the Finance Ministry’s health insurance system.

The number includes one million civil servants, plus around 500,000 family members who also benefit from the scheme.

“This situation is creating a lot of uncertainty and uneasiness among sick people who don’t know what to do because there is little information,” said CSI-F workers’ union secretary Eliseo Moreno.

The decision by Muface mutual society – which includes Adeslas, Asisa and DKV – will force many patients who get specialised care to change medical centre, or get authorisation for every test or consultation they need.

But a Finance Ministry spokesman has denied that cutbacks have been made.

The CSI-F union has given the Finance Ministry until February 20 to explain the change in services.

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