Unforeseen medical treatment
Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad (Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality)
Tel.: +34 901 400 100
Treatment, coverage & costs
- State-provided healthcare is free of charge. Be aware that hotels and tour operators might sometimes call or recommend a private doctor, who will charge you.
- If you need to call a doctor in an emergency, make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card and ask for state-funded healthcare ('asistencia sanitaria pública' or 'asistencia del Sistema Nacional de Salud').
- If you are asked to pay upfront, you are not being treated under the public healthcare system, and your European Health Insurance Card will not be accepted.
- Except for very exceptional acute cases in primary care, dental treatment is generally not available under the state system.
- Only prevention and specific care measures for children are covered.
- Any costs are non-refundable.
- You will need a referral from a doctor for any hospital treatment, except in an emergency.
- Only public hospitals offer treatment free of charge.
- Make sure you show your European Health Insurance Card upon admission, otherwise you will be charged as a private patient.
- Costs incurred for private treatment are non-refundable.
- Medicine prescribed by public health service practitioners can be obtained from any pharmacy ('farmacia').
- If you prove that you are a pensioner from an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you will be charged a lower percentage of the cost of the prescription (with some exceptions).
- If you require medicine after being discharged from a hospital, this will be stated in the hospital medical report. You must take the report to a public primary care centre ('Centro de salud') where a doctor will give you a prescription.
- Transport by ambulance is free of charge when provided by a public healthcare provider.
- There are no reimbursements, because state-provided healthcare is free of charge.
- If you have to pay for care, contact your national health insurance provider once you return home to seek reimbursement.
- Except for prescriptions for medicine, access to the public healthcare system, including primary care, specialised care, hospital treatments and emergency care, is free of charge, without co-payments.
- As a rule, you will have to contribute a percentage of the cost of the medicines financed by the public system and prescribed by a public health provider:
- 10%, if you are a pensioner from an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland;
- 50%, in other cases.
Dialysis, oxygen & chemotherapy
- If you need one of these treatments, you have to arrange and pre-book medical treatment before you go. Allow plenty of time to make all your arrangements before you travel.
- Book a state-funded healthcare provider. Treatments at private healthcare providers are not covered by your EHIC.
- You should contact a hospital for the provision of chemotherapy.
- You should contact a Centro de especialidades (Specialist Centre) or hospital for the provision of dialysis.
- For oxygen therapy, your first point of contact is the Centro de Salud (Health Centre). A Centro de especialidades (Specialist Centre) or hospital can also provide this treatment.
- Before you travel, please contact the Public health Services of the Autonomous Community where you will be staying. They will inform you about the procedures and centres available.
- Autonomous healthcare organisations
How do I apply for an EHIC?
Doctors & hospitals accepting the EHIC
List of first aid centres and national hospitals
(in Spanish only)
Loss of card
Contacts for holders of EHICs issued in Spain
Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social (INSS)
Tel: +34 901 16 65 65
Contact the INSS's Head Provincial Offices.
For civil servants:
Mutualidad General de Funcionarios Civiles del Estado
Tel: +34 91 273 95 00
Please check MUFACE, the social security body for Spanish civil servants, for the contact information of the Information Office and of the MUFACE Provincial Services.