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Basic Rights

Life in Spain has been very ordinary for the last couple of weeks and we've not done anything very bloggable for a while. This entry is really to prove that I'm still here; it may not be worth your time reading it.

The local elections are coming up in May and the campaigns are beginning to hot up. I will be voting in the town elections in Pinoso but I can't vote in the regional elections. I'm not quite sure why and I decided yesterday evening as I was reading about some dodgy political dealing in the paper that I should make a little protest about that. After all one of the basic rights or responsibilities within a democracy is the right to representation through the ballot box. I get to vote in national elections in the UK and the locals and Europeans here but I am denied a vote at regional level in both countries. Time to get in touch with my European representative I think.

Another one of those basic rights written into the Spanish Constitution is the right to health care. I pay into the Social Security system and so I get health cover. The health system has a regional structure. Our house is in Culebrón, in Alicante which is part of the Valencian Region so my health card is issued by Valencia. I also spend a lot of time here, in Cartagena, in the region of Murcia but because my work contract and the letting agreement on the flat are both temporary I consider that my permanent address is Culebrón.

The system in such a situation is relatively straightforward. I go to the local health centre early on a Thursday morning every three months, stand in the slow moving queue for half an hour or so and ask for a "Temporary Displacement" which means that if I need a doctor for a routine type appointment their computer system will recognise me. Emergency treatment is covered anywhere in Spain by my Valencian card.

I went to renew the paperwork today and they started to give me guff about how I could only be temporary for twelve months. I argued the point and the clerk decided that it was easier to tap a few keys and give me the form rather than argue the point with the stuttering incompetent in front of them who was obviously incapable of any meaningful conversation. I suspect that I won't get the paperwork renewed next time. I wonder who I should talk to about that?


  1. Blimey, you're very good. Very well behaved. I don't believe they would deny you an appt. without the paperwork; they might bitch a bit but you'd get one in the end. Do you think that doctors receptionists go on special international couses to be obnoxious - they're the same in the yUK as here; their entire raison d'etre is to prevent anyone seeing "their" doctors!


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