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Article by: Susie Kay info@costa-luz-properties.com Published: 08/12/2007

Healthcare in Spain / Your health in Spain

The community health system in Spain is excellent, probably better than most in Europe. The ‘ambulatorio’ or local health center is usually open 24 hours a day and the hospitals are extremely well run. The only thing that non-Spanish people may find a little unusual is that in Spain a patient’s family is normally responsible for their personal care and feeding, not the nursing staff. Probably for this reason, hospitals allow one member of the family to be present at the bed side 24 hours a day, then there are normal limited visiting hours for others.

If you are working in Spain and paying your Social Security, you will be able to use the health care system just as the Spanish nationals do, but for the first 12 months it is advisable to carry the European Health Insurance Card, (the EHIC, which replaced the British E111 on June 1st 2004). From this date, all EU citizens are able to apply for the card which entitles them to emergency care whilst visiting the country. (See: http://www.dh.gov.uk/PolicyAndGuidance/HealthAdviceForTravellers/fs/en)

Those intending to live in Spain and become Spanish residents (though not working) will be able to use certain aspects of the health system (e.g. emergency treatment) as full citizens of the E.U. however, if not paying into the system it is highly advisable to obtain private health insurance. There are various private health companies operating in Spain and they work hand in hand with the National Health Service.

Be aware that Dentist’s are all private and you must pay as you go. If you need a tooth pulling urgently, they will do this for you at the local health center, but a private dentist must do any other form of treatment. The sign ‘Dentista’ can be seen above the door of any one of these.

There are plenty of chemist shops in Spain, called ‘farmacias,’ and these are easily spotted because they have a flashing lighted sign outside in the form of a cross – usually green. They operate a rota system so that you can always find at least one open (the address of the duty chemist will be on the door of each shop and also printed in the local newspaper). Alternative health care shops too, are quite widespread.

Prescription drugs are available from chemists and some drugs can actually be purchased over the counter without prescription. However it is always wise to consult a doctor before obtaining drugs of any sort. If you need a regular prescription filling – carry the label with you to the chemist, where they can match it up to the local equivalent.

For more information on moving to Spain, please contact us:- info@costa-luz-properties.com


External Article Link: http://www.property-partnership.com/overseas-property-guides/overseas-property-guide.cfm?id=93

Article Link: http://www.property-partnership.com/overseas-property-guides/overseas-property-guide.cfm?id=93

Please contact the author at info@costa-luz-properties.com for more information.


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