The platform “Yo Sí Sanidad Universal” has published a report, which denounces that the National Social Security Institute (INSS in Spanish) has been excluding a large part of the foreign community from the health care system since the entry into force of the Royal Decree 16/2012, in April 2012.
In addition to foreigners residing illegally in Spain, several other population groups are discriminated on the basis of their salary category, employment situation, residence permit type, emission date of their ID card or their marital status. The platform’s report reveals that, for example, people who obtained a residence permit or were enrolled in the National Register of foreigners after April 2012, for family reunification or “exceptional circumstances”, are not eligible for a health card, thus do not have access to health care.
In April 2016, a report of the Network of Resistance against the 16/2012 Royal Decree REDER highlighted cases of elderly persons who settled in Spain through family reunification. The Social Security department denies them healthcare cards because it considers they should have been required to obtain health insurance papers before following family reunification procedures. In addition, it collaborates with the Public Administration to expel regrouped immigrants without health card, although numerous sentences at High Courts of Castilla y Leon, Madrid, Cantabria and Catalonia have ruled in favour of the families. Read more
To counteract the effect of the centralised system of granting health cards by the INSS, some Autonomous Communities such as Catalonia, Andalusia, Valencia, Galicia and Madrid have created decrees not to follow national rules. In addition, the Xunta de Galicia, for example, has created a protection system to provide healthcare to irregular immigrants without resources, as long as they can justify more than six months of residence in the country.