The regional premier of Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, said on Thursday that the region would continue to provide regular healthcare to undocumented immigrants after September 1, the date the Popular Party government plans to withdraw their right to free treatment as part of sweeping cost-cutting measures.
To qualify, migrants who don’t have their papers in order will have to prove they are without means and be registered on the electoral roll before September 1.
Galicia is the first Popular Party-governed region to so explicitly state its intention to go against the Health Ministry’s incoming legislation and go on treating illegal immigrants. The regions of Andalusia, the Canary Islands, the Basque Country and Asturias, where other parties are in power, have already announced their intention to continue providing medical treatment to those without papers.
Cover will be available “both in emergency rooms and health centers,” Feijóo said during a press conference after the regional council meeting that gave the green light to the decree, which is expected to be published in the official regional bulletin on Friday.
Those affected — around 9,000 people — will be provided with a Galician Health Service document, since “only the Ministry can give out health cards,” he said.