Expats in Spain fear losing free healthcare as Brexit looms with no deal in sight

Pedro Gonçalves
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Expats in Spain fear losing free healthcare as Brexit looms with no deal in sight

British expats in the south of Spain are becoming increasingly worried with the prospect of losing free healthcare access and their jobs as Brexit looms with no deal in sight.

Government sources said the NHS will no longer be able to cover health costs if Britain leaves the bloc without a deal on Friday March 29. Pensioners currently have access to NHS reimbursements for treatment under EU arrangements.

S1 certificates, which allow British pensioners and some workers living in the EU to access to healthcare, may also no longer be valid, the government said.

"I suppose the thing I'm most worried about is our access to healthcare as you get to this sort of age, this tends to become a big worry"

Sally, who retired in Spain on a public sector pension told ITV News: "I suppose the thing I'm most worried about is our access to healthcare as you get to this sort of age, this tends to become a big worry."

Government officials are attempting to strike deals on no-deal health arrangements, the NHS added. Health officials have called on expatriates to register with Spanish authorities to guarantee their access to doctors and cover themselves for a no-deal scenario.

The Convenio Especial ‘pay in' health insurance scheme is set to be available to expatriates who have been registered with their town halls for more than a year.

Another worry is how the keep the business afloat with many buying expat customers saying they will return to the UK, leaving the shops empty.

British bar owner Mandy Sirett told ITV News: "If they start to sell their properties here so there are less people coming, our customer base is going to go down. And then also we have to look after our staff and make sure all their papers are in order and that can change over night."

Spain's promises that it will ensure the rights of Britons after Brexit have not convinced every expat, with as many as 250,000 British living overseas expected to return to the UK.