The Spanish healthcare system is ranked among the best in the world. Statistics show over 80% of expatriates living on the Costa del Sol do not have a proper medical record in Spain and are not availing of the free Spanish Healthcare System.
With medication costs on the rise we have to ask why so many in the expatriate community do not avail of the free Spanish Healthcare system. The answer is the language barrier that exists. Care for Me Assistance removes all the stress related with availing of free public healthcare.
Spain’s healthcare system is regularly rated among the world’s best, guaranteeing universal coverage and no upfront expenditure from patients apart from paying a proportion of prescription charges. Spain spends about 10 percent of its GDP on healthcare, and is ranked sixth in the EU for the number of doctors with around four doctors per 1,000 people.
A 2015 World Health Organisation survey showed that Spanish women outlive all other nationalities (living to 85.5 years) apart from the Japanese; so they must be doing something right.
Spanish healthcare consists of both private and public healthcare, with some hospitals (hospitales) and healthcare centres (centros de salud) offering both private (privado) and state healthcare services (asistencia sanitaria pública). You don’t need to have private health insurance to get medical treatment in Spain.
As an expat from an EU or non-EU country, you are entitled to free state healthcare if you are:
- Resident in Spain and work in employment or self-employment and pay social security contributions
- Resident in Spain and receiving state benefits
- Resident in Spain and recently divorced or separated from a partner registered with social security
- A child resident in Spain
- A pregnant woman who is resident in Spain
- under 26 and studying in Spain
- A state pensioner or staying temporarily in Spain and have an EHIC card
As well as EU Members, Spain also has bi-lateral agreements with the countries listed below, that allow citizens from these countries visiting Spain for short periods of time to obtain free emergency medical treatment.