Keeping Healthy in Spain

Published on 1/13/2017 in Health

Becoming ill in a foreign country is a concern for everyone, especially if you cannot understand the health system or speak the language. Although, we generally take good health for granted, we need to be prepared for any unexpected health related eventuality.

Anyone who has had the misfortune of falling seriously ill in Spain will agree that medical facilities in Spain are of a very high standard. Clinics and hospitals are very clean and Spanish doctors tend to be very thorough.

Of course, the availability of services does vary from locality to locality and you may need to travel to a neighbouring town or city for treatment.

In an emergency look for the urgencias (emergency) section of the nearest hospital. Before you have established yourself, for less urgent problems, it would be advisable to go to a private clinic to avoid a long wait.

For tourists and non-residents, form EHIC (European Health Insurance Cover) has replaced the old E111. The form E111 is no longer valid. You can apply online at Have a photocopy of your EHIC ready to show the doctor the original and hand in the copy. You will find lots of information on health for travellers on the site mentioned above.

Farmacias (Chemists) in Spain are also excellent as a first port of call as they are very informative and you can usually buy a lot more over the counter than you can in the UK Many people relocating to Spain are on a budget until they establish themselves. For them, the big question on their mind is:

Am I Entitled to Free Health Care?

Spain’s public health service is known as the Instituto Nacional de la Salud (INSALUD). If you make Spanish social security contributions via your employment or your business you and your family are entitled to the same free health care as a Spanish National. Once you register to pay Social Security, you will become a member of INSALUD. You will be provided with a social security card (tarjeta) and be assigned a doctor.

For more information on Social Security contact the Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social (there is a page available in English).

If you are an EU National and have made contributions to your home Social Security scheme for two years prior to your arrival in Spain, you may be entitled to public health cover in Spain for a limited period dating from your last payment at home. In order to qualify for this, you need to take Form E-106 (pick this up at your local Social Security branch) to the local provincial office of the Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social.

Pensioners and those on incapacity benefit should do as above but with form E-121.

Private Health Care

Those of you who have visited the Costa del Sol recently will have noticed the impressive new hospital building ‘Hospiten’ whilst driving along the N-340 in Estepona.

Written by: Susan Pedalino

About the author:

Women In Spain

Right arrow icon Send to friends   Right arrow icon Printer friendly version    Right arrow icon Submit your own article


Yvonne Walker said:
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 @ 2:26 PM

is it possible to buy Propranolol half beta prograne 80mg over the counter

Only registered users can comment on this article. Please Sign In or Register now.

Comment Using Facebook:

Related articles in this category

A Traveller's Guide to Vegetarian Eating in Spain

Back Off, Grim Reaper...

Health by Swimming

Hospital Experiences And Pregnant For The First Time In Spain

Keeping Healthy in Spain

Mediterranean Diet: Figs Can Lend You a Hand in Lowering Your Cholesterol

Personal Injury Law in Spain - Basic Concepts

Protecting your Skin from Premature Ageing Whilst Living in the Sun

When Healthcare In Spain Goes Wrong

Click here for a list of all the articles from our magazine 

Spain insurance services

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x