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Healthcare in Spain

Learn about the healthcare system in Spain

If an unfortunate medical accident should happen while in Spain, the emergency dial number is 112.

With a wide network of hospitals and care centers, healthcare in Spain is never far. International students in need of a general doctor’s visit can find what they need in Spain along with other services such as nursing, social work, physiotherapy and more. The healthcare system in Spain is considered to be advanced and prepared, housed with admirable doctors and satisfied patients. If you do not speak Spanish, check to see if a translation service is available in your area, as most of the medical staff will be speaking Spanish. As an international student studying in Spain, you may receive healthcare as if you were a citizen depending on your country of origin, and you will have other health care opportunities as well.

Healthcare System in Spain

Most people in Spain are complementary toward the standard of the Spanish healthcare system. The system is simple and very easy to understand, and no one is turned away from emergency medical treatment in Spain, regardless of nationality or ability to pay. Healthcare in Spain is free to Spanish citizens working there, but international students will have to apply for some form of insurance.

Members of the EU

If you are part of the European Union, you can apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which will grant you emergency healthcare while in Spain.

Non-Members of the EU

If your country is not of the European Union, you will need to show proof of private insurance as part of applying for your student visa.

Free Medical Care for Specific Countries

If you are from Peru, Paraguay, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil or Andorra, you can benefit from free hospitalization in case of a medical emergency as long as you can present the corresponding health certificate from your home country.

Though there may be long wait lines in many Spanish hospitals, most patients are satisfied with their treatment and do not feel the need to travel to another country in order to receive better healthcare.

Medical Treatment in Spain

The healthcare system in Spain can be compared to the British health system, albeit with a few differences. The quality of treatment is good, though there will be mixed feelings depending on where you are in Spain, especially with specialty medical treatments such as dentistry.

Dental Care

Emergency treatment in Spanish hospitals have reported some dentists to require long waiting times with brutal treatment while others say they have been treated with excellence. The price for seeing a dentist in Spain is cheaper than in other parts of Europe. Medical treatment in Spain does not only benefit Spanish citizens.


Most medicines in Spain are over-the-counter in chemist’s shops. Many are often surprised to hear that healthcare in Spain is progressive and thriving, but with a life expectancy higher than average, it is no secret that Spain is doing something right. The healthcare system in Spain is simple and successful, and international students studying in Spain should be able to receive quality treatment if ever needed during their stay.

Best Insurance Plans for Spain

We have a range of insurance plans, however for students studying in Spain the best insurance options are: