Spanish Health Personnel Oppose Government Reforms

The Spanish government is denying the right to health for all undocumented migrants living in Spain. Targeting the most vulnerable, they are cutting health expenditure following tough austerity policies. The campaign “derecho a curar” calls  Spanish health personnel to oppose government reforms and calls for conscientious objection.

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- – - – - – - Letter to the Minister of Health: – - – - – - – -

Ana Mato
Minister of Health, Social Services and Equalit


Dear Minister Mato,

We are writing to you today to communicate our firm opposition to Royal Decree 16/2012, enacted as “an urgent measure taken to guarantee the sustainability of the National Health System and improve the quality and stability of the services it provides” and to express our support for health professionals who are objecting to the implementation of this legislation.

This new decree will leave undocumented immigrants (with the exception of minors and pregnant women who fall into this category) without access to the public health system.

We oppose this measure in that:

-    It violates the basic human rights of these individuals, who are inherently entitled to the same right to health enjoyed by all others.
-    It does not comply with Spain’s obligations as a signatory State to international treaties.
-    It is incompatible with the Constitution and statutes of the autonomous communities of Aragon, Catalonia, the Basque Country and Andalucía.
-    By limiting health care to emergency services, it will contribute to the aggravation of serious pathologies and increase the overall cost of healthcare.
-    By denying preventative care and treatment to a particular segment of the population, it will endanger the overall public health.
-    It violates the ethical code under which health care workers provide their services and that mandates their obligation and their right to provide health care.

To ensure that Spain continues to comply with its obligation to guarantee access to health care to all people and that people working in the health care sector can continue to exercise their rights and fulfil the ethical obligations of their profession, we call upon the government to immediately rescind this decree.



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