Medical chief calls for fines for patients who “abuse” health services

People should be made to pay for not picking up their test results, says OMC head

OMC president Juan José Rodriguez Sendín, at the Europa Forum on Monday.
OMC president Juan José Rodriguez Sendín, at the Europa Forum on Monday.J. L. PINO / EFE

The head of the Spanish Medical Association (OMC) on Monday proposed that patients who go to hospital emergency rooms when their conditions are not considered urgent should be made to pay for services.

Juan José Rodríguez Sendín, who presides over the umbrella organization that groups health and medical associations across Spain, also believes that people should be “fined” when they fail to pick up the results of examinations or tests.

“I would never support co-payment just for going to see a doctor, but I would impose payment for abuse of services,” he said during an address at the Europa Forum, which was also attended by Health, Social Services and Equality Minister Ana Mato.

Examples of “abuse” of medical services, according to Rodríguez Sendín, include patients not taking their names off a waiting list after they are seen by a professional, or when they sign up on multiple lists to ensure they get an appointment quicker.

“We need to think about this; I don’t want my proposals to cause any misinterpretations,” he said.