HEALTHCARE IN SPAIN
The General Health Law of 1986 recognizes a right to health care services for all citizens / foreigners residing in Spain.
Spain has a public health system which provides free health care for those contributing to Spanish social security as well as for their dependants. It also caters for pensioners and includes those from other EU Countries
The country has an excellent system of private medicine that exists alongside the State system. Both operate so as to compliment each other.
You might be glad to know that there are many English-speaking doctors and specialists in the more touristically dense areas of Barcelona that can help you when moving to Barcelona!
The Catalan Health Service (CatSalut) is the public body responsible for providing public cover health services for the citizens of Catalonia. In order to use their services, you need to apply for a healthcare card, which in Spanish is called Tarjeta Sanitaria Individual.
APPLYING FOR YOUR PUBLIC HEALTHCARE IN SPAIN
Once you have registered at your nearest town hall, you can apply for the card at the primary healthcare center referred to as CAP, and fill the application form by submitting the following:
- An identity document (Spanish Identity Card DNI, Foreigner’s Identity Card, NIE, passport)
- A photocopy of a document indicating you are registered with the Social Security system.
- A certificate proving you are registered with your municipality (empadronamiento)
Your public healthcare card will be sent to you by mail, usually within a few weeks. If you should become ill in the meanwhile, they should already have your details on their system, and an appointment can be arranged to see a physician. Keep in mind however, that you will be assigned your own personal doctor, who most likely will not speak English. Therefore you may wish to obtain private health insurance, which could give you access to some of the English-speaking doctors in the city.
If you are interested in obtaining private health insurance, below are a few names of Spanish insurance companies that you might be interested in :
Adeslas : One of the three biggest in Spain, covering a third of the total privately covered Spanish population.
Cigna : With more than 30 years of experience and over 60 million customers around the world.
Sanitas : Medical insurance for expats, with a strong reputation.