Not all foreigners from outside the European Union can use the Spanish public health network of centers or the public emergency services and hospitals. It will depend on the type of permit they have. Whether it is a short-term stay (less than three months) or a residence permit.

MEDICAL ASSISTANCE FOR STAY PERMITS IN SPAIN (LESS THAN THREE MONTHS) FOR CITIZENS FROM OUTSIDE THE EUROPEAN UNION 

If you wish to travel to Spain from your country and you are from outside the European Union it is essential that you purchase a travel health insurance with international coverage. It is a prerequisite as necessary as your two-way ticket or your hotel booking. Permits for less than three months of stay (tourism, business, visiting a relative etc) and stay permits that can be for more than three months such as study permits, research an volunteering need a health insurance that must meet the following criteria:

– Guarantee €30.000 of medical coverage for illnesses or accidents.

– Guarantee repatriation in case of decease or illness.

– The insurance CANNOT have franchises or be deductible.

How do I do to the doctor if I am visiting Spain or studying in Spain? 

In order to go to the doctor or to the medical emergency services during your stay in Spain you must find out which medical centers have signed agreements with the company in which you have purchased your medical insurance needed to obtain a stay permit. If you already know your itinerary find out which are the doctors and hospitals that are covered by your insurance and that are close to you.

GOING TO THE DOCTOR FOR PEOPLE WITH A RESIDENCE PERMIT OR WORK PERMIT FROM OUTSIDE THE EUROPEAN UNION 

If you are residing in Spain with a residence permit, with a contract, you will be entitled to visit a family doctor, go to the hospital or the medical emergency services as any Spaniard. You will only have to submit your health card.

Health assistance in Spain through the National Security is guaranteed for people who are considered as covered:asegurado:

People who find themselves in one of the following situations will be considered as covered. T

  • Employees, self- employed people, affiliated to the social security system registered as working or in an equivalent position.
  • Pensioners qualified as such by the Social Security system.
  • People who are receiving any kind of regular benefit from the Social Security, including unemployment benefits and others of a similar nature.
  • People who have exhausted their unemployment benefit or other benefits of a similar nature, are currently unemployed, can certify they are not covered by any other title and reside in Spain.

“If you come to Spain to visit it, for study reasons, research or business you will need to purchase an international health insurance”

“European Union citizens have the right to enjoy the same health conditions as Spaniards. They just need to submit their european health card”.

GOING TO THE DOCTOR OR TO THE EMERGENCY SERVICES IN SPAIN FOR EU CITIZENS 

EU citizens have a right to free medical and hospital assistance in Spain:  Assistance will be provided by a family doctor at the healthcare centers or where the person is lodged if they cannot move prior presentation of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Should they need an specialist or transfer to a hospital, the doctor will give you a certificate or referral. Hospitals and some healthcare centers have a 24-hour emergency service. 

You will need your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC): With the European Health Insurance Card you will have access to the same services you need for your temporary stay as Spanish citizens. The period of validity appears on the European Health Insurance Card and is valid in all EU countries as well as in Switzerlang, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Private hospitals and doctors in Spain do not accept the European Health Insurance Card. If you are admitted at a private hospital either you or your private insurance, if you have one, will have to pay the costs.

Can I do to the doctor if I forgot the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) back at home?

You can go to the doctor or any emergency services at a hospital but you will have to cover the hospital, medical and pharmaceutical costs in advance. You will then have to ask the security affiliation organism in your country to pay you back. You will have to your medical bills to them.

The European Health Insurance Card is not valid if the reason of your stay in Spain is to receive a certain medical treatment. 

 

WHERE CAN I BUY MY MEDICATION IN SPAIN?

In Spain, medication is dispensed at drugstores. A green cross on the street marks the presence of a drugstore. If you come from a UE country or a country that holds health agreements with Spain you will benefit from the same services as Spaniards. Certain prescriptions, namely those issued by public healthcare centers, may have up to 60% of discount or 100% discount depending on the patient (whether they are pensioners, people in active employment or minors).

 

WHAT NUMBER CAN I DIAL IN CASE OF EMERGENCY?

You can dial the free emergency number 112 (valid throughout the entire territory in Spain). You will receive assistance in Spanish and, if you are in a touristic area, also in English, French and Germany

 

What should you know about medical assistance if you come from a country that does not belong to the EU?

Countries with Communitarian regulations: Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. They have access to the same medical services as Spaniards in case of emergency on acount of illness accident in any member state.

Countries that have bilateral agreements with Spain: Andorra, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay. They will also have access to free medical and hospital assistance in case or emergency  on account of illness or accident. The corresponding certificate must be issued in their country to benefit from these terms. Should they forget to bring this certificate with them they will have to cover the hospital, medical and pharmaceutical costs in advance and the security affiliation organism in their country will rembourse the costs after being presented with the medical bills.

Other countries: Aunque Although you will be assisted in case of emergency, but you will have to pay for it if you do not have a medical insurance.

 

How does medical assistance work in Spain?

The Spanish National Health System has a very wide network of healthcare centers and hospitalsthat make health more accesible to all the population.

Primary care assistance is provided at healthcare centers (family medicine, pediatrics and nursing. You can also have access to midwives, physical therapists and social workers).

In small counties and rural areas there are local medical offices that are regularly visited by doctors and healthcare personnel from the area.

Specialty care is provided at hospitals. You can access them by medical prescription of the primary assistance services. In addition, there are emergency services in hospitals and in some healthcare centers.

HEALTH

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Healthcare

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