Spain has a universal health care system that is reputed as one of the best in Europe. The Spanish state grants medical assistance to all Spaniards through INSALUD, the state institution in charge of public health. This coverage apply also to non residents and tourists who are never denied treatment, but they can be charged either directly or via their national health system if the service provided is more than a basic assistance.
Even though being an excellent and universal health system, time-consuming queues are frequent to see a specialist or for other non urgent issues. Dental and eye coverage are not provided, resulting in a migration of many Spanish residents to the private health care system.
Private health can be paid either directly or through an insurance provider. The main benefit of contracting private services is to avoid long wait times and to have a faster and modern communication with the service providers since they offer benefits such as express mailing of test results and information via email and SMS messages.
Some of the most popular private health providers are Sanitas, Maphre, Adeslas and Asisa.
In case of Emergency, go to the nearest Emergency room doesn’t mattering what your coverage is, since by Spanish law, all health institutions must assist patients in life or death situations. If you need an ambulance call 112. For basic advice on common issues and for medicines, pharmacies cover 24 hours by taking turns. Here you can purchase over the counter medicines which include for example antibiotics, since Spain is not a very restrictive country when it comes to medical care.
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