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European Commission investigates EHIC concerns in Spain

The European Commission is investigating complaints that Spanish hospitals are refusing to recognise the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

The Commission has requested information from the Spanish government by sending a letter of formal notice.

The Commission said in a statement that it is “concerned that Spain might be failing to fulfil its obligations under EU law to provide emergency healthcare to temporary visitors from other Member States on the same terms and conditions as are available to Spanish nationals under the public healthcare scheme.”

Earlier this month, the Association of British Insurers warned UK holidaymakers heading for Spain about the potential problems they face getting the medical treatment they are entitled to.

All UK travellers to countries in the European Economic Area are entitled to medical treatment provided by the state of that country for free or a reduced cost proving that they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Travel insurers have identified more than 100 cases where UK holidaymakers have been refused state medical treatment in Spain, despite producing their EHIC.

The ABI has produced a handy EHIC guide for travellers, available on the ABI Website, or to download, right.

Last updated 01/07/2016