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Spain to recover universal health care

Catalan government pushes for restoration of suspended law protecting undocumented immigrants

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15 June 2018 02:47 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Spanish government will put forward legislation to restore universal health care in the following weeks. The previous executive, ousted two weeks ago, passed a bill in 2012 that excluded some 900,000 undocumented migrants.

“We will give the right to health back to everybody,” said government spokesperson Isabel Celaá in a press conference on Friday.

Catalonia, as well as Andalucia and the Basque Country, diminished the impact of the reform by passing bills to ensure residents could continue receiving medical care in public centers, no matter their legal status.

Last April, Spain’s Constitutional Court suspended the Catalan law of universal health care following a complaint by the previous government, thus stripping legal protection from some 115,000 people. The Catalan government disobeyed the ruling by ordering that public hospitals and health centers continue offering medical attention free of charge.

When Quim Torra was elected as Catalan president in May, he pledged to restore all laws suspended by the Constitutional Court. This also included one legislation aimed at tackling the issues of energy poverty, climate change, and gender equality.

Spain’s new president Pedro Sánchez has said he is open to negotiate the recovery of the suspended laws. The support of pro-independence parties was instrumental in his rise to power following a no-confidence vote against his predecessor Mariano Rajoy.

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  • Santa Caterina Hospital in Salt, Girona (by IAS)

  • Santa Caterina Hospital in Salt, Girona (by IAS)