Spain: Benidorm bar owner praises UK vaccine rollout
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And some have voiced their frustration at the labyrinthine bureaucracy they are required to negotiate in order to get their jabs. In accordance with the Social Security Coordination Protocol of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and the EU, UK citizens who are legal residents of Spain are eligible for medical coverage provided they are similarly entitled to healthcare in the UK.
It is so frustrating
Wendy from Catalonia
However, the Local was contacted by expats who claimed they were nevertheless struggling to register with public health authorities, and had not yet received their vaccines, even though others in their age or priority group had already been contacted.
One, Wendy, who lives in Catalonia, said: “I am 64 and my husband is 61, we have private health insurance and do not qualify for public health care yet.
”We have heard nothing yet and not for want of trying. It is so frustrating.”
Another, Lawrie, 50, who lives in Madrid, said he had private health insurance but was not in the public system.
He explained: “I phoned the 900 102 112 number and was told they put me in the system with my Sanitas number.
”That was weeks ago and I have not been contacted since, so I suspect I am actually not in the system at all.”
Deborah, who lives in Murcia, said: “My husband and I live in Campos del Rio, Murcia.
“My husband is 61 and I am 60. We have private medical insurance.
“We have had no luck in getting the vaccine, any help would be appreciated”.
Ian, who lives in Albacete, said he has private healthcare insurance, is a legal resident, and a taxpayer.
He added: “I’ve e-mailed the CLM health department as their website only shows how irregular foreign residents can apply for the public health card.
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“There’s nowhere for foreign legal residents to register.”
Speaking to the Telegraph last month, John McKenzie, 42, who suffers from diabetes and a heart condition, said since the beginning of the vaccine rollout, he had attempted on four occasions to register at his local health centre.
He added: “The first time they said they cannot register people on private insurance for the vaccine in the absence of any instruction from the Canarian government.”
On another occasion, Mr McKenzie claimed he was told: “Go away, we don’t vaccinate foreigners.”
Spain is home to an estimated 285,000 British expats.
Madrid has previously said that everyone living in the country will be vaccinated irrespective of their status.
In a note published on the Brits in Spain Facebook community last month, the British Embassy in Madrid said: “We know that some of you are concerned about how you will be able to get the Covid-19 vaccine in Spain – particularly those of you who don’t receive state healthcare.
“The Spanish government has been very clear that they will provide the vaccine to everyone in Spain as a matter of public health, regardless of nationality or how you access healthcare in Spain.
“If you are already registered for state healthcare you will be contacted by your regional health service to make an appointment when it is your turn to be vaccinated.
“Because Spain operates its health system regionally, the way people access the vaccine will differ depending on where you live.”
The FDCO has advised anyone with concerns to visit this site.
Express.co.uk has contacted the Spanish Government for comment.
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