Spanish gov't to challenge Madrid region's decision to charge for prescriptions

Spanish gov
# 12 January 2013 04:21 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The Spanish government said Friday it will challenge the decision taken by the Autonomous Community of Madrid to charge everyone 1 euro (1.3 U.S. dollars) for medical prescriptions in the country's Constitutional Court, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

The action was confirmed by Spanish deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria following Friday's cabinet meeting. She said the government would look to the court to automatically suspend the application of the measure.

She said the measure, which came into effect in the Madrid region at the start of the year, affected the equality of the Spanish people, given that at the moment the measure is now implemented only in the Catalan region in northeastern Spain which introduced the measure before Madrid.

However, the action is embarrassing for the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Because Madrid is ruled by the ruling Popular Party (PP), it means the central government is taking a regional government of their own party to the Constitutional Court.

President of the Madrid Community Ignacio Gonzalez insisted that by charging one euro for prescriptions, his regional government was trying to "dissuade" people from taking out unnecessary prescriptions and as such "rationalizing spending in the health service."

Opponents of Gonzalez's measure argue that it would put the health of the old and the poor, who have few resources, at risk.