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Spain to implement universal health care for irregular immigrants

Staff Writer |
The new Spanish government will repeal the health reform implemented by the former government of the conservative People's Party, which did not allow irregular immigrants to have a health card.

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The announcement was made by government spokesperson Isabel Celaa, at a press conference after a Cabinet meeting.

"We are going to give the right to health to all people," Celaa said.

Celaa said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez would repeal the royal decree and return universal health to migrants in a period of "six weeks".

She said the government would talk to all Spanish regions to make certain the new decree is implemented across the country. She said she believed it would be accepted, as many of Spain's regions continued to offer health care to undocumented immigrants despite the previous initiative.

The measure implemented by former prime minister Mariano Rajoy did not allow immigrants in irregular situations to have a health card, with the exception of minors, pregnant women and emergencies.

According to El Pais newspaper, this measure saved the state 917 million euros ($1.06 billion), but in return it would leave some 150,000 people without health care.

According to a study last April by the prestigious Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona, the mortality of the immigrant population between 2012 and 2015 increased by 15 percent, local media reported.


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