The Spanish Healthcare system "Instituto Nacional de la Salud" was founded in 1986, and is rated as the most efficient in Europe and third on a worldwide rating system.
In Spain each town has its own Central Salud, where you can see your family doctor, they also provide an emergency service where you can see a Doctor outside of normal working hours, these local services remove the pressure from the Hospitals Accident and Emergency Departments (Urgencias).
If you are referred to a Public Hospital for a procedure that requires in-patient care, most hospitals will provide private rooms, which are equipped with a private bathroom and also facilities for your family to care for you during your stay in the hospital, this is something that is expected as the Medical staff are there to provide professional assistance.
Eligibility for Public Healthcare
To benefit from Public Healthcare you must;
1. Be a Legal Resident
This is defined as someone who lives in Spain for more than 180days and has legal status, with a TIE or DNI (National Identity)
2. Be registered with the Seguridad Social (Social Security)
If you are of working age then you will pay into the Social Security system, "seguidad social" which pays for your Healthcare in Spain, it also provides you with subsidised medication, for self employed people you pay this as part of your "Autonomo" payments, or if you are employed then as part of your compensation package with your employer, or as a retired Spanish worker
3. Have a SIP Card (Tarjeta Sanitaria Individual)
This card and your ID will need to be presented each time you visit a Doctor, Hospital or pay for a prescription from the Chemist.
Other Options for Healthcare
If you do not meet the criteria for any form of Public Healthcare then you can also apply for a Convenio Especial from the Spanish Social Security System, this provides access to the Public Healthcare system for a monthly fee, around €60 per month if you are under 65, or €157 per month if you are over 65 years of age.
As with all European countries, private healthcare is available for a monthly charge, which is dependent on the coverage and the package offered by the Health Provider
The most popular Spanish private Insurance providers are
There are however a multitude of providers now from outside of Spain, including
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