Medical treatment abroad
Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad
Tel: +34 901 400 100
Treatment & costs
Before you consult a doctor or a hospital, make sure that they are part of the Public Healthcare System, so they accept your European Health Insurance card (EHIC). Some hospitals and health centres (centro sanitario) offer both private and state-provided healthcare and it is up to you to inform them, which services you require. Any costs incurred for private healthcare are non-refundable and not covered by your card.
- State-provided healthcare is free of charge. Be aware that hotels and tour operators can sometimes call or recommend a private doctor who will charge you.
- If you need to call out a doctor in an emergency, make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card and ask for state funded healthcare.
- If you are asked to pay up front, you are not being treated under the Spanish health service and your European Health Insurance Card will not be accepted.
- Dental treatment is generally not available under the state system and the costs are not refundable.
- You will need a doctor's referral for any hospital treatment, except in emergencies.
- Only public hospitals offer treatment free of charge.
- Make sure you show your valid European Health Insurance Card on admission, otherwise you will be charged as a private patient. Costs incurred for private treatment are not refundable.
- Medicines prescribed by health service practitioners can be obtained from any pharmacy (farmacia).
- You will be charged up to a certain percentage except in some cases if you are a pensioner from a EU country, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, which you must be able to prove. This is non-refundable in Spain but you may be able to seek reimbursement when you are back home.
- If you are told by a hospital that you require medicines following your discharge, you must take the hospital medical report to a public Primary care centre (Centro de salud) where a doctor, will give you a prescription. This is because doctors in public hospitals will prescribe medicines on the appropriate medical report but do not issue official prescriptions.
There are no reimbursements as state-provided healthcare is free of charge.
If you have had to pay for the cost of your care, you should contact your national health insurance provider when you return home to claim a reimbursement.