Spanish doctors call for 'bad' patients to be fined

Alex Dunham
Alex Dunham - [email protected]
Spanish doctors call for 'bad' patients to be fined
The President of Spain’s health patient watchdog has labelled the top doctor's words “an utter disgrace”. Photo of doctor getting paid: Shuttertstock"

The President of Spain's Medical Colleges Organization has supported a campaign which would see patients who don’t really need treatment or who go to the wrong hospital fined for their "bad usage" of the country's health system.


Juan José Rodríguez Sendín has rejected a co-payment system for Spaniards visiting their GPs, instead supporting a campaign which would fine patients who make an improper use of the country’s state health system.

“When people don’t take their names off the waiting list, when they deliberately put their name down twice, when they don’t pick up their diagnoses or prescriptions, or when they go to the ER rather than to a regular health centre,” were just some of the reasons named by Sernín when calling for the penalties to be introduced.

He added that “those who go a lot” to the doctor, do so because “they’re scared” and “think it will delay their final day.”

Carmen Flores, president of Spain’s health patient watchdog, labelled Sendín’s words “an utter disgrace”, Spain’s edition of the Huffington Post reported on Monday.

“Only those who aren’t right in the head make bad use of the ER services,” she added.

“What happens is that when you have toothache or a high temperature, you’re put on a waiting list for a week. Are we going to have to pay because of that?

“(Sendín) is not helping doctors by suggesting this, I imagine they don’t support his claims because threatening to make patients pay is neither decent nor humane.”

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