Expats in Spain are eligible to the public health care system. But you also have to contribute to the local social security service. Find an overview of the Spanish health care system in this article.
All foreign nationals living and working in Spain have to contribute to the local social security system, and, as such, are fully entitled to register with the national health fund. EU-EEA citizens can keep their national health coverage up to one year through form E-101, or up to two years through form E-102. After two years in Spain, EU-EEA citizen must register with the Spanish Healthcare System (INGESA).
Health care provided in the framework of the INGESA is free of charge, except for eye and dental care. In order to enroll, you must register with the nearest Local Social Security Office (Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social) and apply for a Social Security Card. The registration documents' checklist includes: a passport, a birth certificate, proof of residence in Spain and all supporting documents of your dependants (spouse, children etc..). If you are an auto-entrepreneur in Spain, you will have to subscribe to the RETA, which is a special regime. The TA.0521 form has to be filled at the nearest Social Security office.
The social security card is sent to the requestor by post mail within approximately two months. Once the social security card in your possession, it is necessary to register with a local heath center (Centro de Salud) where you will be assigned a GP. You can change or choose another GP without much difficulty. In case you need to consult a specialist, you must necessarily request an appointment through your GP.
Private health system
You can choose a private health insurance as a complement or substitute of the INGESA coverage. With a private insurance, waiting times to consult a specialist are shorter and you'll be fully covered for all care, including dental or eye.
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Quality health care services
Spanish public and private hospitals provide quality health care services meeting European and international standards. However, the waiting time in public hospitals is quite longer than in private hospitals and clinics.
Pharmacists, for their part, have been trained to provide first aid, dressings and medication, whether on prescription or not. On call pharmacies are listed in local newspapers and display a sign on their showcases.
112: European emergency number
061: Medical emergency
080: Fire brigade
091: National Police
092: Municipal Police