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Healthcare and Health Insurance in Spain | Expat Exchange
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Plaza de La Merced in Malaga, Spain

15 Expats Talk about Health Insurance and Healthcare in Spain

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Mar 02, 2024

Summary: The quality of medical care in Spain is generally considered to be on par with the United States. Spain has a well-developed public health system, and private health care is also available. Emergency services are generally reliable and efficient, and ambulances can be called by dialing 112.

Balcells Group Lawyers
Balcells Group Lawyers
Balcells Group Lawyers
Balcells Group Lawyers

How are healthcare services Spain?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Spain, they replied:

"I like health care here. I had a surgery, one that was formerly botched in Sweden (of all countries with reputedly good health care) and sooner or later am likely to need a heart surgery as well (yes, I had a second opinion on that). As an EU citizen I was never asked to pay for any treatment and as a retiree get all medications dirt cheap, even insulin, which makes me remember with horror prices I had to pay when I lived in the US, despite being fully insured..," remarked one expat in Spain.

"Healthcare services in Spain are provided by both public and private institutions. The public healthcare system is funded by the government and is available to all Spanish citizens and legal residents. The quality of public healthcare is generally good, with a wide range of services available, including primary care, specialist care, hospital care, and preventive care. Foreign residents in Spain are also eligible to use the public healthcare system, provided they have a valid residence permit. Expats in Spain can use the public healthcare system by registering with the local health authority and obtaining a health card. This card allows them to access the same services as Spanish citizens, including free or discounted medical care," remarked one expat living in Spain.

"I would say medical care is excellent. For chronic medical conditions, it may be difficult to get an insurance and they will have to pay more. there are other expats with chronic condtions who are able to get private insurance," said one expat living in Granada.

"Although the primary care from physicians and the local hospital/clinic are generally adequate, I recommend getting a second opinion before accepting a recommendation for major treatment like surgery, even though you will likely have to pay that out of pocket. Doctors, treatments, medications are dramatically less expensive here. Custom orthotics would have cost me approximately $300 in the US, but are $45 here. ," mentioned one expat in Altea.

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What are medical services in Spain like?

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William Russell

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGet Quote

William Russell

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGet Quote

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William RussellWilliam Russell
Get Quote

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

William RussellWilliam Russell

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
Get Quote

Answer Question & View More Answers

William Russell

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGet Quote

William Russell

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGet Quote

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Plaza de La Merced in Malaga, Spain

William Russell
William Russell

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
Get Quote

William RussellWilliam Russell

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
Get Quote

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