British baby in Spain hit with fever bill

British baby in Spain hit with fever bill
A health centre in Aragon demanded cash before treating a sick British baby. File Photo: BARBARA LABORDE / AFP
A British couple seeking urgent medical attention for their baby were forced to make a dawn dash for €132 cash because of a controversial Spanish law.

An emergency visit to a medical centre turned into a nightmare for two British parents of a Spanish-born baby.

Alicante newspaper Información  reported that the couple, who are registered Spanish residents, made an early-morning trip to the Aragonese town of Caspe to seek medical attention for their 8-month old baby.

The child, who had a temperature of 41ºC, was refused treatment because she only had a provisional  national health service card, despite having been born in the Spanish city of Denia.

Both of the child's parents had valid health cards but this was deemed insufficient and they were asked to pay €132 before a doctor would attend to the baby.

The decision has been described as an "extreme" application of the controversial Royal Decree Law (RDL) 16/2012 which was introduced last year.

The law imposed severe cuts on the Spanish National Health System and required that unregistered foreigners should be refused medical assistance.

This aspect of the law has not been applied by all autonomous communities in Spain. 

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