If your Padrón is not up to date you could lose your entitlement to free healthcare

The Orihuela councillor for International Residents, Sofia Álvarez, together with Noelia Grao, the councillor for Health, called local community leaders into the Playa Flamenca Town Hall on Thursday, where they presented the new council publicity leaflet aimed at raising the awareness of local citizens to the importance of holding a current Padrón, the Municipal Census Document.

They explained that by registering on the Padrón, individuals will actually be benefiting their community as the local government receives funding depending on how many are registered on the Padrón. The Padrón is also a good way for the Town Hall to know how many people are living in their area.

The number of residents registered on the Padrón also controls the amount of funding allocated to the municipality for education, health care, security and other essential services, so the greater the number of registered personnel, the more services that an area receives.

Those readers who might be amongst the 70,000 people living in Orihuela and on the Orihuela Costa who are not registered on the Padrón might bear this in mind when complaining about the inadequacy of local services, the only fault of which is their own!

This point was reinforced with the situation in Entre Naranjos where the population has been calling for its own health centre for some time, not an unreasonable demand you may think. But on an Urbanisation with a population of 3000 people, where only 200 are actually registered on the Padrón, the matter would seem to be entirely in their own hands. The councillor for health did say, however, that if the figure could be increased to 500, a small health centre would be established.

A recently introduced rule now requires EU citizens to renew their Padrón every five years (Non EU citizens every two years). This will ensure that they will then remain on the electoral list for local elections, retain the right to social services and assistance, as well as to other Public Services, such as ambulances and SIP health cards.

The INE, the National Statistics Institute of Spain, is the agency that keeps a central record of all such registrations, which it distributes to Town Halls for checking every October.  At that time local registers are checked within each Municipality and those Padrón’s that have expired could be deleted. This will immediately remove the entitlement of the Padrón holder to other local services.

So it actually seems quite simple, if your Padrón expires, which it will do at the five year point, you could well lose all your entitlements, including free healthcare, not an attractive proposition to the many thousands who regularly use the service. 

On the other hand, if you don’t possess a Padrón, you are doing us all a great disservice, which you should rectify now by calling into the local office in your Town Hall where the matter can be quickly dealt with.

Make sure you pick up your copy of the new Government Pamphlet ‘Information for Citizens’, which is currently being distributed extensively in the local area.