Skip to main content

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!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Looking for a flat

Finding a house to rent in Spain is usually a pretty straightforward process. When I say house I really mean flat because, although it's not impossible to find houses in the middle of a town or city, by far the most usual style of dwelling for urban Spaniards is the flat.
I need to qualify this a bit further. It's easy to find a place if you are willing to pay an estate agent. The other options involve walking around random streets looking for to rent signs with your mobile phone to hand. We've only ever done it a couple of times and it has not produced good results.
The internet has made it a slightly less fraught process to find an individual renter and the place that Maggie rented in Ciudad Rodrigo came that way. Even then it takes ages to sift through the various websites usually to find that nobody answers your email or phone call except for the estate agents.
The estate agent method is the most straightforward but also the most costly. The standard charging process…

Where am I?

When I wrote the last post on this blog - Looking for a flat - I should really have written it on the Life in Culebrón blog because that's where I am at the moment.

In fact, apart from working in Cartagena it looks as though my links with the place are about to be cut. I am in the process of signing up for a flat in La Unión and the logic of naming the blogs must mean that the active ones are the places where I have a kettle. La Unión and El Culebrón.

There is a tab at the top of the page to navigate there or this is the link

Casting off

School term is over in Spain. It's summer. Nearly everyone from Cartagena is at the beach. The town is quiet and we are done, at least till the new academic year when I'll be back to do a bit more English teaching.

We've cleared everything from the flat. We've carted our belongings up the road to Culebrón. We've handed over the keys of the flat. So goodbye to town life for a while and goodbye to Cartagena till I get back there in hot and sticky September.

In the meanwhile you can follow our adventures (sic) at Life in Culebrón