As private healthcare is set to become compulsory in Spain, thousands of retired British expats are now considering moving to neighbouring Portugal.
The UK's basic state pension is worth just 1100 euros a month. The majority of British retirees in the country said they were using Spain's healthcare system with its free prescriptions and treatment. However, private health insurance will be required after December 2020.
A retired couple can expect to pay over €250 a month or more depending on pre-existing health conditions. For those already struggling with their state pensions, it will make life even harder in Spain.
We just cannot afford, on our UK pensions, to live here anymore"
"We just cannot afford, on our UK pensions, to live here anymore," a group of expats told Euro Weekly News.
The Portuguese private health system is considered to be at least 20% less expensive than its Spanish equivalent and property rental is also cheaper. Portugal's healthcare system ranks ninth best in the EU and 12th best in the world, with its nationals rated as amongst the healthiest on the planet as well as beating out most other European nationalities as regards longevity.
Over the last 6 months Spain has lost thousands of expats to Portugal, according to local media.