15 May, 2023 @ 19:30
1 min read

Spain to introduce ‘right to forget’ for cancer patients to avoid discrimination

RISING: Cancer rates on the up according to one of Spain's top dermatologists

SPANISH Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced at the weekend that his government will be introducing a ‘right to forget’ for former cancer patients, a measure that is aimed at preventing discrimination against this group when it comes to taking out loans, insurance policies or mortgages. 

On Saturday, the Socialist Party leader met with cancer associations according to news agency Europa Press, before a statement was released by the prime minister’s office announcing the plan. 

According to the text, a modification to existing law will see any clauses ‘declared null and void’ when they are ‘based on oncological history’, and when said clauses ‘exclude or discriminate when contracting products or services’. 

The new legislation, due to be in place from June, will also ‘establish, for the first time, the right to not declare if someone has suffered cancer when they are going to sign an insurance policy linked to a mortgage loan’ in a bid to avoid higher prices or outright rejection. 

The prime minister’s office added that this new right will be applied to anyone who has finished their cancer treatment five years previously without it having reappeared. 

Cancer survivor Yaiza Cumelles told Spanish daily El Pais recently that “with banks, mortgages or insurance policies, I don’t even bother trying”. On hearing the news of the government’s plan, she said that she was “very happy for such a major, important step”. 

Sanchez himself announced the measure at a party rally in Seville on Saturday, ahead of the local and regional elections scheduled across Spain on May 28. A general election is also due to be held before the year end, most likely in December.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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