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Travellers raise EHIC concerns

03 April 2013 13:33

Concerns have been raised about the use of EHICs in Spain

Concerns have been raised about the use of EHICs in Spain

Travellers heading to Spain have been warned that some clinics and hospitals in the Mediterranean country are failing to accept European Health Insurance Cards.

The Daily Telegraph reported that some insurance companies believe certain cash-strapped hospitals are refusing to take the cards, which entitle the bearer to receive free treatment. As a result, it is feared elderly tourists and travellers with pre-existing medical conditions could be especially vulnerable and receive steep invoices.

The problem has become so grave that the European Commission has said it may be forced to take legal action, the paper reported. The possibility of the commission launching an "infringement procedure" comes after a number of EU nationals have complained that Spanish hospitals have refused to accept their EHICs. Young tourists also use EHICs to cover some or all of their medical care when they travel abroad.