Treatment, coverage & costs
- Before you consult a doctor or go to a hospital, make sure that they are part of the public healthcare system, meaning they will accept your European Health Insurance Card.
- On the website of the Ministry of Health, you will find a list of public healthcare centres and hospitals.
- Here is more information on public healthcare centres and the NHS Primary Healthcare Centres Catalogue and National Catalogue of Hospitals.
- Some hospitals and health centres ('centros sanitarios') offer both private healthcare (not subsidised, paid in full by the patient) and state-provided care (mainly 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 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 a 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.
- 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.
- 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.
How do I apply for an EHIC?
- More information about how to apply for an EHIC in
- Download the social security app for Android or the app for iPhone (in Spanish only)
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 Social de la Marina (ISM)
Tel: +34 917 00 66 00
Contact the ISM 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.