Sunday, 18 December 2011

European Health Card

Following my use of the European Health card for dental treatment in France we are now testing it out for hospital treatment in Spain.

Steve had been feeling unwell for a week or so and we decided to get him checked out at the Doctors. We went to a local clinic, showed them his passport and European health card and they issued him with a temporary SIP card for Spain.

Using the SIP card we were given a free appointment at the Doctors.  Following on from this Steve has ended up in hospital and is having treatment for leukaemia.  At the time it was diagnosed the Doctor said a 3 day overland journey back to England by motorhome would be too long and flying back posed too much risk of infection so he would have to be treated in Spain.

At Alicante hospital he is undergoing chemo which will be for at least a month.  I contacted the British Consulate to clarify the ruling on what is covered by the European card and they quoted "necessary treatment".  They asked when we entered Spain, how long we were staying, when we were last here and whether we had used the card in Spain before - all to establish that we were neither living here nor using Spain to get treatment quicker than in England.  Based on all this I was assured Steve's initial treatment was covered and if we opted to continue our journey in Spain and he needed further "necessary treatment" for the same condition he would still be covered.

Whilst his has put a temporary stop to our gallop we do plan to get back on with our travels as soon as possible but it just goes to show that we have been right to pack in as much as we have done over the last 15 years.  You just never know what is around the corner.


7 comments:

Lanterns of Hope said...

I had an incident in Andalucia whereby I sliced down the middle of my thumb with a craft knife. It wouldn't stop bleeding due to it depth so we went to the surgery on a Saturday morning. The nurse stitched me up and was very sympathetic to my stupidity. When they asked for my EHIC (Euro Health Insurance Card) I realised I'd forgotten it.
They took my passport number and that was the last I heard from them - no bills, no fuss, just a handful of very lovely people who put humanity before bureaucracy.

Jacob @ www.spain-in-a-campervan.com

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