MALLORCA – They come, enjoy the beautiful weather, and further take the opportunity to undergo surgery. Especially the Spanish coastal areas have to deal with these medical tourists. However, a number of them leave with the northern sun without paying.
That is a thorn in the side of the government in the Balearic Islands (Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca, Formentera). And, furthermore, it is a gaping hole in the regional treasury. In total, care tourists still owe the public health services on the islands more than €7 million. However, the plan now is to prosecute those debtors.
Debts of €7 million
The Balearic Islands Health Service (IB-Salut) is now hiring an outside company to collect unpaid bills from tourists who have been treated in hospitals or health centres in the archipelago and who have never paid. The total debt built up in this way in the period 2019 to 2022 now amounts to more than €7 million.
According to El Periódico, the United Kingdom tops the list of bad debts by nationality, followed by Germany, France, and Italy. The non-EU destinations with the highest number of non-paying tourists are the United States and Argentina.
The Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs of the Balearic Islands is launching a public tender to find a company that will trace the medical tourists and gets them to pay for a budget of €1.43 million.