Expats are blamed for much of the undesirable behaviour that sometimes appears on the Costa del Sol, but this recent claim is seemingly becoming a controversial one.
The expats in question have been classed as “health scroungers”, with Britons shouldering the majority of the blame. It is believed they are greatly taking advantage of the health service offered here in Spain. Other expats also mentioned were from Germany and Scandinavia.
Dr Juan Benedito, of a doctors’ trade union was quoted to say, “Spain’s health service is quick, free and offers a wide range of services,” he added, “it is not surprising that people come here.”
Sources say that UK residents are flying out to Spain in the hope of avoiding long waiting lists on the NHS, with some individuals traveling to receive treatments or procedures not offered through the UK’s national health service. The procedures most sought after is said to be hip and cataract operations.
The claims come after it was revealed that the hospitals on the Coast are being stretched to capacity as they see extra demand from expats owning homes, giving them the benefit of free health care in the country. Allegedly many simply stay in their second homes to obtain the treatment and when recovered, return home as soon as possible.
Antonio Perez, the general manager for the Costa del Sol Hospital, said “We get an increasing number of cases of foreigners who, taking advantage of the fact that they own a home on the Costa del Sol and that their own country does not cover all that we offer in Andalucía, decide to come here.”