UK expatriates face healthcare challenge

Spain wants the United Kingdom to cover the healthcare costs of the British diaspora living in Spain, from 2019. 300,000 UK-born people live in Spain.

The Spanish government intends to broker a deal where, after leaving the EU in 2019, the United Kingdom will cover the healthcare costs of the British diaspora living in Spain.

300,000 UK-born people live in Spain 2015. Over a million British expatriates live in other EU member states and healthcare is set to form a big part of the country’s divorce talks with the EU.

Many retirees buy specialist health insurance cover.

In recent years the numbers relying on the Spanish state and paid for by the UK are far lower than shock journalism or Spanish politicians claim. Sympathy for the British expats, often retirees who refuse to integrate, and who expect the Spanish and/or UK governments to pay for their healthcare, has been reducing in both the UK and Spain as this diminishing sector grabs all the benefits but works hard at paying nothing to either government.

For all their thunder, even the dullest Spanish politician can grasp that the UK is the biggest- and growing- source of tourism for Spain. The UK is the largest source of tourists. From January to August, the UK recorded a rise of 13% over 2015, with more than 12.4 million visitors (23.6% of the total). cannot risk losing the British holiday trade.