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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 & costs

Before you consult a doctor or a hospital, make sure that they are part of the public healthcare system, which means they will accept your European Health Insurance Card.

On the website of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, you will find links to the websites of the Autonomous Organisms competent on Healthcare. These websites usually have a list of the Public centres (hospitals, centros de salud) established in the territory of the corresponding Autonomous Community.

Some hospitals and health centres ("centro sanitario") offer both private healthcare (paid in full by the patient) and state-provided care (partially subsidised). It is up to you to tell them which you want. Any costs you incur for private healthcare are non-refundable and not covered by your EHIC.


  • 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 up front, you are NOT being treated under the public healthcare system and your European Health Insurance Card will not be accepted.


  • Dental treatment is generally not available under the state system. Any costs are non refundable.

Hospital treatment

  • You will need a doctor's referral 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 on 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 can prove that you are a pensioner from an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you will be charged only a percentage of the cost of the prescription (with some exceptions).
  • If you require medicine after being discharged from a hospital, this will be indicated 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.


  • Ambulance service is free of charge when provided by a public hospital.

Air ambulance

  • No information available.


There are no reimbursements, because state-provided healthcare is free of charge.

If you have had to pay for care, contact your national health insurance provider once you return home to seek reimbursement.


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