Every person resident in Spain, regardless of their administrative status, will have the right to public healthcare, according to the bill on the Universality of the National Health System (SNS) approved today by the Council of Ministers.

The norm aims to “establish measures that protect the universality of the SNS and minimize health inequalities,” indicates the Ministry of Health. The minister, Mónica García, has described the project as “a milestone within our SNS to recover part of the pride that we lost in 2012.”

According to the Government, the regulatory framework promoted by the PP in 2012 caused “health exclusion” in certain groups. Now it is about “closing this wound,” said García, highlighting “the struggle that has taken place to guarantee access to health for all people in the country.”

For the minister, universal health care is “one more tool to have more cohesive, fairer and more efficient societies” and is a measure that opposes “xenophobic and dehumanizing discourses.” “One of the lessons we have learned from the pandemic is that no one is safe until everyone is safe,” she said.

In addition to guaranteeing health for all residents, the legislative project recovers the right to assistance in Spain for people with Spanish nationality who reside abroad and the family members who accompany them – temporarily displaced to Spanish territory -, and for foreigners who arrive for family reunification.

Health care is also extended to foreign parents, reunited, of people entitled to assistance from the SNS when they are in their care.

On the other hand, the following groups will have the right “to health protection and health care under the same conditions as the holders of the right during their stay in Spain: applicants for international protection, beneficiaries of temporary protection, victims of human trafficking. temporary stay in Spain and people not registered or authorized as residents in Spain.

This last group (people without residence) must present a responsible declaration as a requirement to receive care. “No person is ever denied healthcare,” García remarked.

The minister has not quantified the number of these people who until now only had the right to emergency assistance – “so many times we were already late” -. “It is very unequal between communities,” she explained. And she has criticized that the 2012 law violated the professional code of ethics, in the sense that “we cannot exclude any patient for any condition.”

Regarding pharmaceutical benefits, all of the aforementioned groups are incorporated into the system under the same conditions as the rest of the population.

On the other hand, the Council of Ministers has approved the transfer of 38.5 million euros to the autonomous communities to be used to strengthen the mental health of the population within the framework of the 2022-2024 mental health plan strategy.