Spain has an extremely effective National Health Service

And with a wide network of health centers and hospitals present throughout the country. All the primary healthcare services including GP services, Pediatrics and nursing are available. Most medical centers/hospitals are located within fifteen minutes of any residential place.

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Medical care for people from EU member states

People from EU member states are entitled to free healthcare in Spain. However, you need to show your European Health card in order to receive the same medical care services as any Spanish citizen. Having shown your EHC (European health Card), you will be attended by a GP at the local hospital or at your house/living place if you are not able to make the trip. However, if you have to consult a specialist, you will be given a referral or relevant medical certificate by the GP. Every hospital or health centre in Spain offers accident and emergency services. It is important to be aware of the fact that private hospitals and doctors do not accept EHC. Therefore, if you need private healthcare you will have to pay your own bills. You can opt for an insurance policy that covers such charges.

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Forms required for healthcare

If a person requires specific treatment like haemodialysis, he or she will require the E-112 form. Furthermore, an authorization from a related institution in his or her country of origin will be required for carrying out the treatment. You need to remember that dental treatments apart from urgent/emergency extractions are not covered in Spain. Also, if you forget to bring your EHC with you, you will have to pay all the medical bills in advance.

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Healthcare facilities for nonworking visitors

If you are planning to live in Spain without working and are far from retirement, you might be able to receive Free State medical care for a limited time period. It totally depends on your circumstances that you get free or low cost services. You must apply for the E106 form in the UK, provided that you have cleared all your social security dues. The Pensions service in the UK will let you know if you have qualified for the limited cover. If you manage to get the cover, you will receive an E106 form that is required to be filled and submitted to the Spanish social security authorities. Once you go through the entire procedure, you will be entitled to free medical care. On the other hand, if you start working in Spain, you will no longer require these formalities as your healthcare will be covered anyway.

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Medical care for people from non EU member states

1. Countries having community regulations:

These countries include Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland. They have the same health and medical regulation as the member states.

2. Countries having bilateral contracts/agreements with Spain:

These countries include Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Andorra and Paraguay. People from these countries can also receive free hospital attention in emergency situations, like extreme illness or accidents. However, you need to issue the certificate equivalent to your country. If you have been unable to bring it with you, you will have to pay any medical, pharmaceutical or hospital bills in advance. Therefore, you are suggested to keep the bills with you and then request reimbursement for your operating expense from the organization you belong to.

3. Other countries:

Individuals from other countries will also receive medical care in case of emergencies, but they will be liable for payment. Therefore, insurance is the best choice for them. In any case, you are suggested to contact the relevant office/agency in your country for full details related to the current requirements to get healthcare in Spain.

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Where to call in emergency

Dial 112 in case of all emergencies. It is a free of charge service and is provided in Spanish as well as in English.

Where to buy medication

Medications can be obtained at pharmacies in Spain. They are easily recognizable, as every pharmacy is marked with a green cross. You will receive your prescription from the doctor. People from EU or countries having health agreements with Spain will get same prescription drug benefits as that of Spanish citizens.

Regulations related to smoking

Smoking is prohibited in every enclosed public area including public transportation. You cannot smoke in health facilities including the outdoor areas that are a part of its premises. However, there are some exceptions. In psychiatric hospitals and prisons, patients and inmates are allowed to smoke in particular areas outside the building or in a closed room specified for smoking.

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