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SOCIAL SECURITY, HEALTHCARE AND HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

SOCIAL SECURITY

Pensions

Calculating contribution periods

I have contribution periods registered in Spain and in the United Kingdom. Will these periods be taken into account to determine my eligibility to receive a pension when the United Kingdom leaves the EU?

With an agreement

Yes, they will be taken into account in accordance with applicable European law.

Without an agreement

The Spanish Government's contingency measures will take into account proven periods of employment in the United Kingdom for calculating pensions in Spain. This will be done on a transitional basis until an agreement is signed. The application and eligibility conditions for pensions will be those established by Spanish law, and in accordance with the requirements of European Union Regulations. Calculation of pensions in the United Kingdom depends on the measures adopted by the UK authorities.

Payment of pensions

I receive a Spanish or British pension and live in the United Kingdom, Spain or another Member State. Will my pensions be paid after the UK leaves the EU?

With an agreement

Yes, during the transition period pensions will continue to be paid under the exportability principle provided for by the European regulations.

Without an agreement

Spain and the United Kingdom will apply their national legislation. The Spanish Government's contingency measures include the payment of pensions recognised by the Spanish authorities in the recipient's place of residence.

Unemployment benefits

I have contribution periods in Spain and in the United Kingdom. Are these periods taken into account to determine eligibility for unemployment benefit when the United Kingdom leaves the EU?

With an agreement

During the transition period, the current situation with respect to eligibility for unemployment benefits will be maintained.

Without an agreement

To make access to the different unemployment benefits in Spain easier, the Spanish Government's contingency measures will take into account proven contribution periods for unemployment benefit made in the United Kingdom before Brexit. The application rules and eligibility conditions for unemployment benefit will be those established under current Spanish law in accordance with European Union Regulations, which include the requirement for the applicant's last job to be in Spain.

Eligibility for unemployment benefits in the United Kingdom depends on its UK legislation.

I am a citizen of the EU and a frontier worker in the United Kingdom living in Spain

With an agreement

During the transition period, the current situation with respect to eligibility for unemployment benefits will be maintained.

Without an agreement

To make it easier to access the different unemployment benefits in Spain, the Spanish Government's contingency measures will allow proven contribution periods for unemployment benefit in the United Kingdom to be taken into account as if these contributions had been made in Spain, on a transitional basis until the signing of an agreement. The application and eligibility conditions for unemployment benefit will be those established by Spanish law, and in accordance with the requirements of European Union Regulations.

HEALTHCARE

Information for Spanish citizens

Website of the Spanish Embassy in London:

http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Embajadas/LONDRES/es/VivirEn/Brexit-Espanoles/Paginas/El-Brexit-y-los-ciudadanos-espanoles.aspx

Information for UK citizens

Introduction

Following the UK's withdrawal from the EU, people with a right to healthcare under the British National Health Service (NHS) are guaranteed access to the Spanish public health system until 31 December 2020 by the Withdrawal Agreement concluded in November between the EU and UK, but still pending ratification by the British Parliament.

The guarantees offered by the Withdrawal Agreement are as broad as possible. UK citizens maintain their right to continue to receive medical care in all EU Member States under the same conditions as if they had continued to be EU citizens and vice versa.

However, in case the Withdrawal Agreement is not ratified, the Spanish Government has approved Royal Decree-Law 5/2019 of 1 March, on urgent measures with respect to the withdrawal of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union without the agreement specified in Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union being in place.

With respect to access to healthcare, Article 13 of the Royal Decree-Law establishes that Spain will continue to provide healthcare in Spain to UK nationals under the same terms and conditions determined before the UK's withdrawal from the EU, provided that the UK:

  • Guarantees the same conditions to people who have the right to receive medical care in the UK paid for by Spain. This reciprocity will be the object of a verification procedure 2 months after the entry into force of the Decree-Law;
  • Guarantees the repayment of the costs for medical care provided in Spain by its health services under the same terms as at present.

Finally, it is important to note that the right to receive healthcare from the British National Health Service will be a priority with respect to any possible right to healthcare derived from residence or a stay in Spain.

1. UK nationals who are tourists in Spain

I am a UK citizen and wish to travel as a tourist to Spain after the date of UK withdrawal. Will I have the right to healthcare in Spain? What documents will I need?

With a Withdrawal Agreement:

Yes, your situation will not change. The European Health Insurance Card will be the document that allows you to receive medical care during your trip, as the Community Regulations will continue to be applicable.

Without a Withdrawal Agreement:

Yes, the contingency measures adopted by the Government of Spain guarantee your right to medical care during temporary stays, provided that the competent British authorities grant reciprocal treatment to Spanish citizens.

You will be treated in health centres that are part of the Spanish National Health System on presenting the document accrediting your health cover by the corresponding British institution (NHS).

2. UK nationals who are students in Spain

I am a UK citizen studying for a doctorate/master's degree, or an ERASMUS student in Spain. Will I have the right to healthcare in Spain?

With a Withdrawal Agreement:

Yes, you have the right to healthcare if you hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC); or, if your university or research centre is sending you temporarily to Spain, you are covered under the British National Health Service, in which case you must apply for an S1 form in the UK before leaving.

Without a Withdrawal Agreement:

Yes, the contingency measures adopted by the Government of Spain guarantee healthcare during their stay in Spain for students with a right to healthcare in the UK, provided that the competent British authorities grant reciprocal treatment for Spanish citizens.

You will be receive treatment in health centres that are part of the Spanish National Health System on presenting the document accrediting health cover by the corresponding British institution (NHS).

3. UK nationals who are workers resident in Spain

3.1 I am a UK citizen and work permanently in Spain. Do I have the right to free healthcare? What documentation do I need?

With and without a Withdrawal Agreement:

Yes, Spanish legislation guarantees the right to healthcare for all workers registered in the Spanish social security system. In this case recognition of the right is automatic: you don't have to do anything more.

You will receive treatment in health centres that are part of the National Health System on presentation of your personal health card issued by the autonomous region where you reside.

Health cards issued before the UK withdrawal date will continue in force and be fully valid for healthcare in Spain.

3.2 I work in Spain. Does my family have the right to healthcare?

With a Withdrawal Agreement:

Yes, family members of a UK national who is working legally in Spain have the right to healthcare, provided that they are authorised to be resident and actually reside in Spain.

This status is applicable to the worker's spouse or life partner, and to descendents of 26 years of age or under, or of any age who are disabled, provided that they are dependent on and live with the worker.

Without a Withdrawal Agreement:

Yes, Spanish law guarantees healthcare provision to the worker's spouse or life partner and descendents of 26 years of age or under, or of any age who are disabled, provided that they are dependent on and live with the worker. Family members must have authorisation to be resident in Spain and actually reside in the country.

Your family members will be treated in health centres that are part of the National Health System on presentation of the health card they have been issued with.

3. 3. Which services in the Spanish National Health System are free?

With and without a Withdrawal Agreement:

Holders of a Spanish health card, or people who prove they have the right to medical care in the UK or Gibraltar, do not have to pay for treatment in the Spanish public health system, as the cost of treatment will be paid for by the UK, which will repay the costs to Spain.

3.4 If they do not consider I am a usual resident in Spain, can they demand payment for healthcare?

With a Withdrawal Agreement:

In the case of foreign visitors who do not have a Spanish National Health System health card, or do not provide documentary proof of their right to health cover by the British authorities, the Spanish National Health System may charge them for the services provided.

Without a Withdrawal Agreement:

In the case of foreign visitors who do not have a Spanish National Health System health card, or do not provide documentary proof of their right to health cover by the British authorities, the Spanish National Health System may charge them for the services provided.

3.5 How will treatment already scheduled be affected by the UK's withdrawal from the EU?

With a Withdrawal Agreement:

It will not be affected.

Without a Withdrawal Agreement:

The contingency measures adopted by the Spanish Government guarantee that people with the right to medical care in the UK or Gibraltar will continue to receive any scheduled treatment following the UK's exit from the EU, provided that the competent UK authorities grant reciprocal treatment to Spanish citizens.

4. UK nationals who are workers on secondment from their companies in Spain

I am a UK national and my company is located in the UK, but is sending me temporarily to Spain. Do I have the right to healthcare in Spain?

With a Withdrawal Agreement:

Yes, the Withdrawal Agreement guarantees that Community regulations will continue to apply. A company may send a worker to another country while maintaining social insurance contributions in the country of origin. A seconded worker work temporarily in an EU country and continue affiliated to the British social security system for a period of two years, during which their social security rights, including medical insurance, remain unchanged.

Without a Withdrawal Agreement:

Yes, the contingency measures adopted by the Government of Spain allow for seconded workers who live and work legally in Spain to maintain their status subject to British law from before the UK withdrawal date until the end of the planned period.

This provision will be applicable provided that the competent British authorities grant reciprocal treatment in the same case to workers subject to Spanish law who live and work in the UK or Gibraltar.

5. UK nationals who are cross-border workers resident in Gibraltar

I am a UK national and travel every day to work in Spain. Will I have the right to healthcare in Spain?

With a Withdrawal Agreement:

Yes, you retain your right.

Without a Withdrawal Agreement:

Yes, the contingency measures adopted by the Government of Spain guarantee the documentation of cross-border workers and provision of healthcare in Spain to UK nationals who at the withdrawal date travel to work legally in Spain, provided that the competent British authorities grant reciprocal treatment to Spanish citizens.

6. UK nationals who are pensioners in the British social security system and are resident in Spain

In the case of UK pensioners resident in Spain, will their access to healthcare in their place of residence be affected following Brexit?

With a Withdrawal Agreement:

Your right to healthcare will not be affected: the Community Regulations will continue to apply.

Without a Withdrawal Agreement:

No, pensioners in the British National Health Service (NHS) will continue to receive healthcare in Spain provided that the competent British authorities grant reciprocal treatment to Spanish citizens.

Spanish health cards issued to you will continue to be in force and fully valid for receiving healthcare from the Spanish National Health System services.

If the British National Health Service (NHS) pensioner resident in Spain does not have a health card, he or she must present documentary evidence to the Spanish National Social Security Institute (INSS) proving his or her right to healthcare from the British system.

MEDICAL HISTORY

What will happen to my medical history data?

With an agreement

Holders of a health card have will retain their rights, unless specific bilateral agreements are adopted between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Spain.

Without an agreement

The information available in interoperable electronic format from any public health service in Spain will remain at your disposal. You may access it for consultation any time you wish, provided you have an electronic ID. This information will also remain available for the Spanish public health services if they need to access it for the purpose of providing you with medical care.

EMPLOYMENT IN THE HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONS

If I am a healthcare professional with qualifications obtained in the United Kingdom and am interested in working within my profession in Spain.

To what authority must I submit my application for recognition of my professional qualifications?

The Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Well-being is the Spanish body with authority to recognise professional qualifications obtained in other Member States of the EU, and specifically to process and resolve applications for eligibility to work in Spain within the regulated professions in accordance with Annex X of Royal Decree 1837/2008 of 8 November, which transposed into Spanish law Directive 2005/36/EC, of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005, as well as the rules governing General Health Psychologists (Seventh Additional Provision of Law 33/2014 of 4 October, on General Public Health).

What department of the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Well-being is responsible for recognising foreign degrees for professional work purposes and thus allowing foreign healthcare professionals to work in Spain?

The Directorate-General for Regulation of the Professions is responsible for recognising foreign degrees for the purpose of working in the healthcare professions in cases where the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training and the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities do not have competence.

Once recognition is obtained, can I start to work in my profession?

Obtaining recognition does not of itself mean that the applicant meets the remaining conditions required to work in a regulated profession, such as nationality, membership of a professional association or being in possession of a residence or work permit.

The Spanish Government plans to take contingency measures in this respect.

If there is a Withdrawal Agreement, what procedure do I have to follow to request recognition of my degree?

During the transition period (until 31 December 2020), the rules of the European Union will continue to apply, so the qualifications obtained in the United Kingdom will continue to benefit from European regulations recognising professional qualifications obtained in other Member States of the European Union.

You can find more information on the procedure to follow on the website of the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Well-being.

If the UK exits without a Withdrawal Agreement, what procedure do I have to follow to request recognition of my degree?

With the effective withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, university degrees will be henceforth managed by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.

Specialist qualifications will be managed under Royal Decree 459/2010, of 16 April, regulating the conditions for the recognition for professional effects of foreign qualifications of specialist in health sciences, obtained in non-Member States of the European Union, which implements Article 18 of Law 44/2003, of 21 November, on the organisation of healthcare professionals.

The Government of Spain has adopted contingency measures on this matter, contained in Article 7 of Royal Decree-Law 5/2019, of 1 March, adopting contingency measures with a view to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union without the agreement provided for in Article 50 on the Treaty of European Union having been reached.

Is there any difference in the procedure depending on the nationality of the third-party applicant?

Recognition for professional purposes of a specialist degree from a third country is based on the verification of the competencies and skills acquired. This is independent of the nationality of the applicant.

Access to specialist healthcare training. What impact will Brexit have on access to the calls for applications for selective tests to access places on specialised healthcare training courses?

Issues related to nationality are contained in the "Requirements for admission of tests" under Order SCB/925/2019, of 30 August, approving the offer of places and the call for selective tests 2019 for access in 2020, for specialised healthcare training places for university qualifications of degrees and diplomas in medicine, pharmacy, nursing and in the fields of psychology, chemistry, biology and physics, published in the Official State Gazette on 9 September 2019.

The Government of Spain is studying the establishment of contingency measures on this matter.

For more information about proffesional qualifications, visit this link.

Non official translation