Healthcare card of irregular migrants, now abolished Credit: Amnesty International.
Healthcare card of irregular migrants, now abolished Credit: Amnesty International.

The Spanish Constitutional Court has ruled that a decree issued by the local government of Valencia is unconstitutional. The draft legislation gave universal access to healthcare, including to undocumented migrants.

Spain's highest court said the regional government in Valencia had been impinging on the jurisdiction of the central government.

Two years ago, Valencia decided to grant healthcare to irregular migrants who were excluded under the national healthcare system.

About 870,000 undocumented migrants had been ineligible for healthcare since an earlier ruling by Spain's central government in 2012, when it was in the midst of a serious economic and financial crisis.

Valencia granted coverage to 30,000 irregular migrants

The region of Valencia pledged more than six million euros to grant coverage to the 30,000 migrants affected.

The high court's latest ruling has put in doubt healthcare provision to thousands of undocumented migrants across several regions of Spain.

But Valencia's socialist leader Ximo Puig says the regional government will continue to provide universal healthcare ''through the necessary mechanisms.''

''Any person who will go to a healthcare facility or a hospital in Valencia will be assisted and in no case will they be asked to pay for healthcare,'' he said.

''Everybody has a right to healthcare, today and in the future,'' Puig added.

Decision "endangers lives"

The international human rights group, Amnesty International, together with the Center for Economic and Social Rights and Doctors of the World have denounced the Spanish Court ruling as ''regressive'' and ''discriminatory."

 

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