In a new Technical Notice issued today, the Government has warned that in the event of no agreement on the future relationship of Gibraltar with the European Union, citizens should make sure that they have appropriate travel insurance with medical cover if they intend to travel to any EU Member State, including to Spain. This is the same position that applies today in relation to travel to Third Countries like the United States, for example.
The Government points out that the reciprocal recognition of the European Health Insurance Cards and the administrative mechanisms for the provision of healthcare in the European Union cannot be guaranteed for British Citizens, including Gibraltarians. European Union nationals visiting Gibraltar would find themselves in exactly the same position here.
Given the above eventuality, the Gibraltar Health Authority has already secured individual arrangements with Spanish private healthcare providers to allow for the continued referral of Gibraltar patients to receive planned treatment where necessary.
It is important to recall that the position of Gibraltarians seeking healthcare in the United Kingdom was settled in at the Joint Ministerial Council of March 2018, where the UK and Gibraltar Governments agreed to maintain the current reciprocal healthcare arrangements between us. Those arrangements would remain unchanged whether or not there is an agreement on the future relationship with the European Union.
Gibraltar’s departure from the European Union means that certain processes and procedures will inevitably become more difficult, cumbersome and bureaucratic. It is important that citizens and businesses are aware of this and that, where possible, they plan ahead. The Government can only prepare in areas that are within its control. Even then, there will be certain areas where mitigation is not possible because the new situation simply reflects what it means to be outside the European Union.