Healthcare in Spain

Spain has a healthcare system that is ranked amongst the best in the world in fact according to the Health Care and Quality Index, Spain placed 8th in the global ranking. We all know the after effects of the pandemic and it is still very much in everyones mind, so having good quality healthcare is now a priority in many of our minds because we never know what is just around the corner.

Of course not all Spanish healthcare is free of charge and there maybe charges for certain prescriptions or to see specific specialists, such as Orthopaedic services.

  • Spain uses a co-payment system where residents usually pay between 10% and 60% of the cost of prescription medication.

At the moment EHIC for short stays, entitles you to state medical treatment should you become unwell whilst in Spain. You need to check if your EHIC is still valid though, if it is not, you need to apply for the UK Global Health Insurance Card.

  • If you are under 65 you have to take out private medical insurance if you are living in Spain.
  • If you are over the age of 65, and you plan on moving to Spain from the UK, an S1 will still suffice, to enable you to enjoy the same healthcare as Spanish citizens.

If you are planning on working in Spain via a Visa entry, you need to join and start paying into the public health insurance scheme. In Spanish it is called Convene Especial. Once you have paid into this scheme for over a year, you will then be able to access the Spanish State healthcare system.

Register at your local heath centre, you will need take with you, your residency permit and social security number. Once you have done this you will then be issued with your health card. This will enable you to visit your doctor.

Without state or private cover, you can expect to pay approx:

  • 80€ to have a blood test
  • Initial consultation is normally between 40€ & 50€.
  • Average cost of an emergency room visit: is 200€
  • A basic X-ray, depending on location is between 50€ & 150€
  • All optical retailers in Spain offer feee eye exams.
How much does an MRI cost in Spain?
  • Chest from 600€
  • Brain from 650€
  • Abdominal from 500€
  • Spine from 680€

Is A&E (Called ER or Urgencia in Spain) Free in Spain?

  • Only public hospitals provide free care

Can I buy antibiotics over the counter in Spain?

  • No - By law in Spain you can only get them from a pharmacist if you have a prescription (Receta) from a doctor or hospital.

Do you have to pay for hospital treatment in Spain?

  • Only public hospitals offer free treatment
  • If you have to use a public hospital make sure you show your European Health Insurance Card on admission. If you don't you may be charged as a private patient.
  • Incurred costs for private patients are non-refundable

If you have a medical emergency, what do you do?

  • Call 112 or 061 emergency numbers for medical assistance

How do I book an appointment to see a doctor in Spain?

  • Contact your local Health Centre in your local village. (Centro de Salud)

Can I buy medication from a supermarket or shop in Spain?

  • No you cannot buy medication from a supermarket or a shop

Are there English speaking Hospitals in Spain?

  • Spanish Hospitals cater for all nationalities, however it is always best if possible to take a translator with you If you do not speak Spanish

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Spanish Property Choice has made every effort to obtain the information regarding the information above supplied to us by external sources deemed reliable. However, we cannot warrant the complete accuracy thereof subject to errors, omissions, change of prices, or other conditions.