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Spain: healthcare cuts hit immigrants

Spain: healthcare cuts hit immigrants
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Health professionals in Spain are registering as conscientious objectors in protest against a new law that requires them to deny treatment to immigrants.

The new statute, which comes into force in September, effectively strips illegal immigrants of their right to free medical care in Spain.

Immigrants without residency cards will be refused treatment at public hospitals and health centres.

Salvador Tranche from the Association of Family Doctors suggested some doctors will ignore the law: “The act solves nothing, and from a professional point of view we in the Association of Family Doctors will continue to treat people as we do now.”

Doctors will still be able to treat those under 18, pregnant women and those who require emergency treatment.

Diego Valderas, vice-president of the region of Andalusia, said: “It’s crazy, no solidarity, no logic or common sense. I do not understand these people who put costs before people.”

The new law is part of an austerity package introduced by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government to reduce public spending to meet deficit targets imposed by Brussels.