Alliance underlines plans for medical travel cover
The GSLP/Liberals will look to reinstate emergency medical cover in some EU member states if elected.
This comes after Gibraltarians were no longer covered in the EU since the end of the Withdrawal period in 2022 and some have been unable to obtain insurance.
GSLP leader Fabian Picardo and Liberal leader Joseph Garcia said they were looking into reinstating emergency medical cover in some EU member states as part of the treaty negotiations.
“We're also working to see whether we can include Gibraltar through the UK's worldwide emergency health insurance,” Mr Picardo said.
“That will be a system that we would obviously also extend to UK individuals visiting Gibraltar. Those discussions will have to be continued in the context of the next administration should you decide that the GSLP/Liberals should be coming to Gibraltar.”
“But even if we're not able to have those state-to-state solutions put in place, we are ready to run with a solution for [Gibraltarians].”
“If you cannot obtain insurance cover so that you can once again travel securely through the EU, in particular, you can once again continue to travel in and around Spain, because I know that this has been an issue.”
Dr Garcia added that although some issues have been resolved, this remains outstanding.
“The advice has been, if you're now traveling to Spain [it] has become like the rest of the European Union, and the United States,” he said.
“You need to make sure you have adequate travel insurance which has a health cover clause which allows you to have treatment covered by that policy.”
“It was reciprocal. Spaniards enjoyed the benefit in Gibraltar, European citizens enjoyed the benefit of free health care in Gibraltar. In emergency situations, we enjoyed the benefit of Spain. Clearly it was far more beneficial to the EU, to Spain, than to us, because there are more citizens on that side of the border than there are in Gibraltar.”
“But nonetheless, we were disappointed when Spain decided to end the concession. It was a concession nonetheless, a unilateral one that they extended for 18 months longer than the rest of the European Union.”
Mr Picardo said Gibraltar is in contact with the insurance industry to provide a solution through the government for those who are unable to obtain insurance cover in the traditional way.
But, he added, this could be less relevant in the future if an agreement is reached.
Regarding blue ID card holders who have their passports stamped every time they cross the border, Mr Picardo said a solution is also being sought.
“We have tried to persuade the Spanish authorities to extend the concession of non-stamping to blue ID holders,” he said.
“The Spanish authorities have not been prepared to do so, but it has not been through want of trying on behalf of Joseph and his team and the team that I lead to try to achieve that.”
Mr Picardo added that, if elected, the GSLP/Liberals hope a long-term solution can be found to ensure that there is no discrimination at the crossing point between Gibraltar and Spain.