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Health care in Spain

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. 

In Spain, all foreign workers without exception financially 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

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..). 

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 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. 

If you need a private health insurance for Spain adapted to your needs, get your free and personalized online quotation here

  Useful links: 

Instituto Nacional de Gestión Sanitaria www.ingesa.msc.es
Seguridad Social - Spanish Social Security www.seg-social.es

  Emergency numbers in Spain: 

112: European emergency number 
061: Medical emergency 
080: Fire brigade 
091: National Police 
092: Metropolitan Police

Last update on 30 July 2014 06:59:11


  • johnewood
    johnewood 24 October 2013 22:26:07

    This is interesting information but my wife and I are not resident and never will be. We are staying in Spain in rented accommodation for 6 months every year from October to March.
    We are both retired and claim nothing from Spain.
    On this basis, what are our medical rights. Do we have access to a GP for example and if not, what do we do about minor ailments.
    John & Joyce

  • getinthepool
    getinthepool 19 August 2013 16:17:53

    Spanish law now states you can also get free state healthcare in Spain if you were resident prior to 24 April 2013, are under state retirement age, are not working and have an annual income of less than %u20AC100,000. My partner and I have just had our letters from confirming our Social Security numbers and are now waiting for the health cards to arrive.

  • getinthepool
    getinthepool 25 October 2013 09:53:03

    Actually you need to have been resident prior to 24th April 2012.

  • johnewood
    johnewood 26 October 2013 18:27:52

    Many thanks for your comments but since we only spend around 5 to 6 months a year here in Spain, we are not going to be 'residents'. We have the European Health Card but I am wondering what our situation is when it comes to registering with a local GP for what would be called non emergency treatment.
    Any information on this matter would be very much appreciated.

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