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Unforeseen medical treatment - Spain


Call 112

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.

Hospital treatment

  • 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.

Air ambulance

  • No specific rules.


  • 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.

Patient contribution

  • 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

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.