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These’s are  both  dedicated organizations who work to better the community through  volunteering and health awareness:, who raises


Awareness on the dangers of addiction and helps local communities stay

drug-free (


And the American Society of Addiction Medicine, who also promotes drug abuse prevention and

treatment (



Question:  What do I need to know about Spanish healthcare?

Answer:  The quality of Spanish healthcare is as good as in any other European Country, maybe even better. A new mandate was introduced in 1998 outlining the details of the healthcare that tourists and visitors are entitled to in Spain. You will find copies of this mandate in many health clinics and hospitals all over Spain.

The Spanish hospitals are a victim of their own success and have noticed a significant rise in tourists turning up at hospitals for operations and special care. This is because of long waiting lists in other European Countries such as the UK. Patients are arriving on holiday with their European Health Card and hoping to be treated. The Spanish government is finding it difficult to claim back the costs from the persons Country causing financial problems for a previously smooth running health system. This has resulted in a clampdown and now no patient is treated without showing their NIE number. 

Most tourists are covered for basic treatment by their own travel insurance in cases of injury or illness during their stay.  For people who are staying in Spain for longer periods or have become resident the healthcare process is quite simple though there are simple procedures to complete.  

In the past you may have brought with you an E111 card that you received from the UK Post Office. This is now invalid and has now been replaced by a 'European Health Insurance Card'. You can get these for free in the UK from the main web site at

Carrying this car with you entitles you to reduced-cost and sometimes free medical treatment in the European Union.

For people staying in Spain for longer periods or are residents then you should take your European Health Insurance Card, Passport, NIE number, copy of a utility bill and your property deeds to your local health centre. Your nearest health centre will be in the same town as on your address of your utility bill. 

At the health centre you should ask for a SIP health card. These are issued on the spot and will provide you with 3-6 months health cover in Spain. After the cover has expired you can renew the SIP card. 

Many of the staff and Doctors at the clinics do not speak English and you may have to bring an interpreter with you. You will find many listed inside the clinic on the notice board offering their services. If you did not want to use an interpreter and you speak no Spanish you could consider using the free online translators. On these web sites you can type in your question or problem in English and press a button to translate to Spanish. You can then print off the text and present it to the Doctor. WWW.FREETRANSLATION.COM  

If you are a pensioner or on benefits then you will need to bring with you the E121 form and your Certificate of Residencia so that you can still get your prescriptions for free.  

Residents who are working in employment and are paying National Insurance and Pension contributions are completely covered for health along with their children. 

Question:  What is Spanish private health care?

Answer:  Although most foreign residents are happy with the healthcare system there are others that prefer to pay a little extra to ensure they get the best treatment in the quickest time possible. The hospitals in Spain are similar to the ones all over Europe in that patients are going to be involved in waiting times though the quality of service you receive when you are treated is of a very high standard.  

Healthcare has always been a concern for visitors to Spain with many worrying if the cover they have would be enough if the worst should happen. With a foreign language to contend with in unfamiliar surroundings it is not surprising that many choose to go private just to address all of these healthcare concerns. 

Most people know the benefits of being a member of Bupa in the UK and these benefits can also be used in Spain.  Sanitas was purchased by Bupa in 1994 and has become one of the top three private medical Companies in Spain.  Sanitas have a wide range of private health treatment plans to suit families, pensioners and individual foreigners in Spain. There are lots of other Companies in Spain offering private healthcare plans but Sanitas is the most popular due to the fact it is owned by Bupa, a trusted name for World-wide private healthcare.Private healthcare accounts for around 14% of the healthcare system with Bupa/Sanitas having a 15% share of this market. With over ten million people now using private healthcare it has become an important issue considered by most Spanish residents. With plans available from just 50 € per month it has made it a very affordable health option. 

Many visitors to Spain think that they are instantly entitled to healthcare, unfortunately this is not true. This will depend on your personal situation. If you have retired early and are paying no social payments then you will need private health cover. A SIP card will only provide temporary cover. Being resident does not automatically entitle you to healthcare. 

If you are 65 or over and are residents of Spain then you can receive free health cover under the European Union. 

The decision to choose private healthcare is purely a personal choice though it is worth considering if you are concerned about the healthcare system. It would be a shame to have this worry ruin your visit or stay to Spain. 

Question:  What do I need to know about Spanish dentists?

Answer:  You are not covered for dental treatment in Spain with your European Health Insurance Card. All dental treatment has to be paid for. The Spanish dental health system like the general health service is of a very high standard. You will find that most nationalities are spoken with qualified dentists coming to live and work in Spain from other European countries.  

You can register with any dentist you please in your local area. Most long-stay visitors and residents prefer to register with a dentist from their own Country of origin though all of the Spanish dentists speak English and provide the exact same high level of service.  

Many visitors and residents will gladly take recommendations from current patients of a dentist rather than looking to register with one found in either the local paper, online or by just walking through the back streets of their local town. 

To register with your dentist just take with you the European Health Insurance Card issued, NIE Number and Passport. Some dentists will only ask for some form of identity to get you registered. 

The dentists will be able to provide you with the most up to date dental technology available in Europe. The cost of treatment is on par with most other European Countries and you may be offered to pay for your treatment by instalments. You will need to provide additional documentation to qualify for this for security reasons. 

Some patients prefer to go private and this can be done through one of the many medical payment plan options available. Sanitas offer private dental cover which is part of the International Bupa group.