The efficient Spanish healthcare system

With a robust network of hospitals and medical centres, Spain’s high quality health care system caters for a variety of needs, including wellness checks, surgeries, emergencies & much more. In 2009, Spain was ranked 7th best in the world by the World Health Organisation (WHO) but now in 2019 is ranked 1st. The average life expectancy in Spain is an amazing 92.8 years, which is the first highest average living age in the world.

These are the World’s healthiest nations, from

These are the World’s healthiest nations, from


Spain’s universal medical system allows for basic-free medical services depending on how you pay into the system (employed/self-employed), this includes surgery, cancer treatment, overnight recuperation, prescriptions and more. Purchasing a private medical insurance will help you to avoid paying too much through your own pocket and can also help you to be covered by more extensive pre & post medical services.


Spanish citizens have access to free state healthcare, known as Seguridad Social (National Health Service). European non-residents & holiday makers can have free access to this healthcare with a European Health Insurance Card. This covers most basic healthcare needs, foreigners can also use the system if they are working or retired in Spain. Seguridad Social is almost as good as private medical, patients can see doctors as often as required. Unlike other healthcare systems around the world, Spanish doctors are not financially incentivised to promote expensive prescriptions and treatments but rather recommend the best courses of action for patients.


Purchasing private health insurance will grant you access to private medical services, such as additional prescription, specialty coverage, post-recovery and more.


Living in Spain is one thing, but working or paying social security taxes will enable you to gain the right to use public healthcare. You can register at your local health centre with your NIE/Padrón/Residencia, passport and home address. Non-Spanish visitors must already have valid health insurance coverage before obtaining a residency visa.

Similar to working residents, retirees will need to register with their local health centre, and you’re also entitled to discounts on most medical costs.


Living and working in Spain will grant you access to state-funded Spanish healthcare, even though you can utilise private medical insurance plans. If you’re an unemployed non-citizen, you can pay a monthly premium for a private plan. Most unemployed non-residents will need to pay a premium for private health cover of around €800-€1,700 depending on the age. It is less as expensive as other developed economies across Europe and around the world.

As for any resident living in Spain, the ‘contribution’ percentage for your prescription can change depending on the amount of your income, your social situation (retired, employed, unemployed). Click here for more information about prescription costs.


In an emergency, you will need to call 112 for ambulance or police services. Every resident, non-resident & holiday maker do have a right in being served for an emergency treatment, regardless of your insurance cover or living status (retired, employed, unemployed). However, if you are registered in the state healthcare or have private healthcare insurance, you will be served quicker.


In order to utilise hospital services for non-emergency visits, your doctor will need to refer you. Registered Spanish residents (and depending on your status) are covered to use the national health service to use most hospital facilities free of charge, otherwise it is generally low-cost for those not covered by state insurance. Private hospitals will charge a fee if your insurance does not match up, including those with state and private insurance holders. Emergency ambulance transportation is covered by the public healthcare system at no extra charge, although there additional expenses.


The healthcare system in Spain is ranked the first best in the world, just ahead of Italy (2nd) , Iceland (3rd) and Japan (4th). Country rankings can change because of recession, currency fluctuations and volatile spending patterns relative to the slow pace of improvement in life expectancy.

Bloomberg 2019 healthiest country index, from Bloomberg  click here .

Bloomberg 2019 healthiest country index, from Bloomberg click here.


At PSI Consultants, our experienced legal, fiscal & visa experts can help you acquire residency & nationality in Spain through property investment in Spain. We will guide you through the whole process of gaining Golden Visa residency in Spain and we offer a wide range of services related to the management and transmission of property ownership in our department dedicated to conveyancing, donations & inheritances. Also in our legal department we manage the obtaining of NIEs, Residences, Wills, private contracts, representation and personalized legal consultation on all related matters.

If you would like to learn more about our Spanish services in the Costa Blanca area, please feel free to contact us at any time when our office is open between 9am - 2:30-pm, Mondays to Fridays.



Feel free to ask any legal or fiscal questions that you need answered. You are more than welcome to also email or call us.

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Calle Salvador Dalí 8, Playa Flamenca, 03189, Orihuela Costa, Alicante, España

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
9AM - 2:30PM

+34 966 730 104

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