Relocation is often a big
decision, especially when it involves
It is only right that you want to be
get as ready as possible before that big
For most people, health care would be
the primary concern as they venture into
their new land.
located within Western
and the peninsular itself is sandwiched
Mediterranean Sea and the
Further away, there are also the two
archipelagos and two autonomous cities in
The southern tip of Peninsular Spain is
surrounded by the
Mediterranean Sea and Cantabric Sea
including the Bay of
Biscay over the northern part,
and the Atlantic Ocean
make its western neighbors. The country
boasts of a land mass of 504,030 kilometers
squared, officially the second-largest
nation in Western
The Healthcare Situation in Spain
Healthcare in Spain consists of two components,
i.e. the government and the private sector
In 2006, it is reported that up to
8.4% of GDP in
is spent on healthcare.
The Spanish Medical System is the
country's public program funded by
government, taking care of the medical needs
of up to 90% of the population.
The European Health Card, popularly known
as EHC, would entitle you to service from
general practitioner at local health center
Even if you can't make it there for
some reason, the general practitioner can
always do a house visit.
Depending on your condition,
sometimes the general practitioner can refer
you to a specialist or a hospital.
In addition, emergency and accident
services are common features among the
hospitals in Spain.
Visitors from Non-EU Countries
The healthcare system
practiced in European Community is inclusive
It is even applicable for citizens
from non-EU countries like Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway.
In the case of Spain, citizens from countries that
have enjoy some form of bilateral
relationship (such as Andorra, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru), are also
assured of hospitalization and healthcare at
no charge if they were to experience an
accident or medical emergencies.
The process is hassle free; all that
is required is for you to produce your
health certificate issued from your country.
If the health certificate is not with
you at the time of treatment, you will be
expected to pay upfront on medications and
Just make sure that you make a claim
on your expenses from your healthcare
service or insurance provider, so keep your
National Health Service
in Spain offers
nationwide health centers and hospitals for
its population to seek medical treatment.
The services provided through this
network of health institutions are quite
comprehensive, invariably all health centers
are equipped with GP and family services,
social workers, nursing, physiotherapist and
The authority has also taken into
account that these facilities are located in
close proximity to residential areas. In
addition, the general practitioners are also
encouraged to make house visits in case
patients are not able to make it to the
health centers or hospitals.
Seeking Medical Attention in
The general observation
about Spanish health care system is very
good. The hospitals are either newly built
or have been maintained well, full with
necessary equipment and the service staff
and specialists are excellent. The local
healthcare system definitely measures up,
even by the remarkable British standard.
However, one difference does stand out for
these two countries, i.e. the levels of
nursing care. Obviously nurses in Spain are just
as well trained and they are efficient but
there are things they do not do. For
example, hospitals and health centers would
encourage family members participate in
chores such as feeding and personal care.
Another point worth paying attention if you
are relocating to Spain is that most medical staff in
does not speak English. Fortunately
voluntary translation services are available
widely and these can be handy when you seek
consultation with your doctor. As additional
precaution, you may want to check if you can
access this specific service from where you
going to be.