MIGRANTS will have full access to public healthcare as soon as they arrive in Spain, a new draft government decree has proposed. 

The draft, which the Health Ministry has sent to regional governments, removes the requirements to have a Social Security card or sign up to the padron.

Regional governments will be able to decide on their own what documents are necessary to access the system in their territory.

“An immigrant will be able to get off the boat, get assistance from the Social Services, and head straight for the local health center,” said a ministry source.

The current 90-day period after arrival, in which access to services are limited as authorities distinguish between travellers and settlers, may now be reduced or eliminated altogether if regional governments agree.

It means universal healthcare would be applied from day one.

Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government eliminated universal healthcare for undocumented migrants in April 2012.


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