The state-provided healthcare in Spain is generally free of charge. However, in some parts of the country, particularly the islands such as the Balearics, it may be more difficult to find a state healthcare provider nearby.
|Emergency numbers in Spain|
|European Emergency Number||112
114 for text emergency number
|Sea Rescue||900 202 202|
As an EU resident visiting Spain you must have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This will entitle you to free emergency medical treatment for up to three months. The hospital or clinic treating you will decide whether the treatment qualifies as an emergency. If you need to call out a doctor in an emergency, make sure you have a valid EHIC and ask for state-funded healthcare.
The EHIC replaced the old E111 in 2006. The card is not an alternative to travel insurance. It does not cover private medical healthcare or costs such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, repatriation, or lost or stolen property. It is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy. Some insurers now insist you hold an EHIC, and many will waive the excess if you have one.
Some hospitals, doctors surgeries and health care centres (centro de salud) will offer both private (privado) and state-provided healthcare (asistencia sanitaria pública) - it is up to you to inform them which service you require. They may also have separate surgery times for private patients.
There are certain non-EU countries that have reciprocal agreements with Spain and can get medical treatment with the relevant documentation, although private medical insurance is still advised and is essential for all other visitors.
Dental treatment is not usually available free of charge as all dentists practice privately. A list of dentists (dentistas) can be found in the yellow pages (paginas amarillas) of the telephone directory. Dental treatment should be covered by your private medical insurance.
There are many pharmacies with staff trained to attend a variety of minor medical needs. Prescription and non-prescription drugs and medicines are available from pharmacies (famacias), distinguished by a large a green cross. They are able to dispense many drugs that would only be available on prescription in other countries. If the pharmacy is closed, a list of neighbouring open pharmacies can be found on the door. In other towns and resorts, there is always one pharmacy which remains open 24 hours - check this website to search for a pharmacy on duty in your area at any one time.
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