Here, we are going to provide you with useful information about health care in Spain. If you travel to Spain and you are worried about having health problems there, maybe the fact that the WHO has classified Spanish health care system at the 7th position in Europe will provide you some peace of mind. Another indicator of Spanish medical system quality is that Spain is subject to medical tourism (where you can even find agencies organizing tours to Spain), arriving especially from the United Kingdom.
Health centres are situated within 15 minutes of any residential place in Spain. Local surgeries are open on specific days with regional medical staff visiting in rural areas and small villages.
Health care in Spain is free of charge (excluding dentistry) for children, students, unemployed people and homeless people. They are provided with the same quality and care as workers paying a social-health insurance, which covers complete health care at state-owned hospitals and other health care providing facilities. Although many people pay private health insurance and use private clinics for common medical check-ups, in case of serious health problems, which require hospitalization, most of them prefer state medical facilities because they get better treatment results and they have modern equipment available.
Before you come to Spain
You don’t need to have any special vaccination in order to visit this country. You should just check the validity of your tetanus vaccination because it is generally useful wherever you travel, does not matter if in Spain or in your own country.
If you are a resident of the European Union, you can use a European Health Insurance Card. Such card enables you to access free-of-charge or reduced-cost necessary medical care (such as illness or accident) whilst in Spain. The card provides tourists with public health care in state hospitals, equal to the care received by people insured in Spain.
Please note that dental care is not covered by the card in most of cases! You should know that the card will not allow you to visit a private medical unit and no refund will be provided to you on its basis. When visiting a private facility you either need to pay everything in cash or possess a travel medical insurance. To own a travel insurance card is reasonable nonetheless when travelling, but especially when you are not a resident of the European Union.
In case you suffer from a chronic health condition and need to visit a doctor regularly (for example, for a dialysis purpose or health problems), don’t forget to bring the European Health Insurance Card with you as it will cover all the medical treatment until your condition does not make it compulsory. It is advisable to take a letter describing your health and medicaments used from your doctor to Spain.
Hospitals in Spain
Taking a trip to the hospital is often never an enjoyable experience, especially when you are sick or severely injured. Finding information about local hospitals and the hospitals near you can ultimately mean the difference between getting the care you need and being dismissed without the treatment you are seeking.
Using an online hospitals guide is a way for you to find all of the information you need about hospitals near you, in the same state as you or even in the same national region as you and your family. Using an online guide is highly recommended if you are planning to visit a hospital ahead of time and you want to research various procedures, treatments and specialists working out of each location.
When you use an online hospital guide it is possible to compare all of the services provided by different hospitals and medical facilities in your city or state. Comparing services provided, visiting hours and even the type of treatment centers available can help you to make a decision that is right for you and your family in your time of need or crisis.
Another perk of using an online hospital guide is the ability to compare research departments available in each hospital located near you. Comparing research departments is a way for you to gain insight into the type of medical technology and advancements the hospitals in question provide to their patients and their staff. You can also find information about all of the doctors and other hired specialists from each hospital with an online guide. Reading about doctors and their experience can help you when it comes time to make a decision on the healthcare you want for yourself and family.
Using an online hospital guide is ideal whether you are planning a surgery of your own or if you are seeking an emergency healthcare center for yourself or for a member of your family. When you use hospital guides online you can ultimately save time while ensuring you and your loved ones are receiving the best medical care available in your area regardless of the situation.
Medical treatment in Spain
If you need an English speaking doctor whilst in Spain you can check the Páginas Amarillas (Spanish Yellow Pages) or ask at your health insurance company (in case you are insured), to provide you with a list of doctors. However, it is recommended to learn a couple of Spanish vocabularies and phrases. If you suffer from some medical problems, you should focus on getting a translation of the medical information you bring to this country.
Here are some Spanish terms of health care institutions:
- Consultorio = Medical center
- Ambulancia = Ambulance
- Centro de salud = Health center
- Hospital = Hospital
You can present your European Health Insurance Card or your travel insurance details in these places.
You can get many medicaments without a prescription in Spain (antibiotics included). Nevertheless, you will need a prescription if you apply for reimbursement.
Anyway, it is recommended to take your regular medication with you, and if you don’t, it is advisable to ask your doctor for generic names of your medicine as drug names can vary according to countries.
Common opening hours of Spanish pharmacies are:
Mondays to Fridays: From 9.30 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 9.30 pm
Saturdays: From 9.30 am to 2 pm
24-hour pharmacies can be found in bigger cities.
112 – the most important number in Spain = for all kinds of emergencies
061 - Ambulance
062 - Guardia Civil (Civil Guard)
080 - Bomberos (fire fighters)
091 - Policía Nacional (National Police)
For more details about Spanish Medical Care please visit the website of the Ministry of Health, Social Policy and Equality.
Health care professions in Spain
Health care professionals are part of the health care system in Spain. This country offers high-quality universities for people who want to pursue a career in Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, among other specialties. Here we provide you with a short list and good options:
Medical schools in Spain
They prepare students to be good professionals in health. Some of the best medical schools in Spain are found in the following universities:
- University of Barcelona
- University Complutense of Madrid
- Autonomous University of Madrid
- Autonomous University of Barcelona
- University of Navarra
Nursing schools in Spain
They benefit the updating and professional development of nurses creatively, through programs, seminars, consultancies for schools, and specialization in various areas. Nursing schools in Spain promote healthy lifestyles, restore and maintain the health of people and the prevention of injuries and illnesses. Nursing career is a means to have welfare and be productive in this society. A nursing school can be found at:
Dental schools in Spain
They have the primary purpose of training professionals able to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases related to oral health. Some dental schools in Spain are found in the following universities:
So, in order you choose the right university, we recommend you to visit their websites and read some comments of students on Internet. Definitely you will enjoy of pursuing your career in the awesome Spain and also of the many things it offers you.
- University Alfonso X (Madrid)
- University Cardenal Herrera (Valencia)
- University of Barcelona
- University Complutense of Madrid
- University of Granada
- University of Murcia