Nothing is as necessary for the human race as is medicine.
Advanced Spanish healthcare system is among the best in the world. As regards life expectancy, one of the key parameters to evaluate healthcare system of any country, Spain occupies the first place in Europe and second in the World, after Japan, accordingly to the data of OECD (Organisation for economic cooperation and development) for 2015: women 80 years, men 75 years.
Medical centres in Spain offer the most advanced treatments at the premises of multipurpose and specialised clinics, using the latest health technologies.
In Spain, there are public and private health insurances. Public health insurance appeared in Spain in 1942, and is considered one of the best and most advanced not only in Europe, but also in the world, ranking fourth accordingly to WHO.
Characteristic for the Spanish healthcare system is that it is largely financed by payments related to employment, while payments made by an employed person provide for healthcare insurance of unemployed members of his family. Employed Spaniards and their families have social insurance cards (tarjeta sanitaria SIP). These cards enable them to receive all sorts of medical treatments in medical centres, polyclinics, medical first aid centres. These centres can be found anywhere in Spain and staffed with GPs. All those requiring emergency care, will be attended in Spanish Red Cross units.
Public hospitals provide emergency medical care and first aid around the clock. In every Spanish administrative district, you will find at least one public hospital with the latest medical facilities and equipment and staffed with highly qualified personnel.
In 2012, the public healthcare system was significantly modified; as a result, free medical services available to foreign citizen were considerably restricted. (at that, the issue of free health services available to unemployed foreign citizen is left to regional governments, and varies from province to province).
To get access to free healthcare an employed resident has to get a social insurance card and pay monthly fees, either through his employer or himself in case of being self-employed.
Public healthcare in Spain earned fame and quality-wise is on par with private.
In Spain, there are many private hospitals and major insurance companies, offering a wide range of insurance policies. In general, private insurances enable you to receive all sorts of medical services including specialist consultations, operations, hospitalisation, special assessments and laboratory tests. Advantages of a private health insurance are undisputed; there are some of them:
There are practically no queues to visit a doctor or waiting list for surgery or complicated assessment; you may visit any specialist without GP’s prescription, which is required in public hospitals; moreover, you may attend medical centre and specialist of your choice. Possibility to attend a doctor in any part of the country, irrespective of your insurance plan, is also worth mentioning.
You do not need to be resident in Spain to contract an insurance policy. Most insurance companies require NIE - a foreign citizen identification number (for at least one member of a family) and an account in a Spanish bank, from which the insurance will be paid for.
In case of illness or accident, or if preventive treatment, diagnostics or rehabilitation is required, the insured person gets cover from the insurance company.
In Spain, there are many insurance companies, offering different insurance products, considering which the following factors shall be taken into account:
Type of insurance:
There are two main types:
In this option apart from the monthly fee, you pay an extra for every service you get. These extra-payments may vary from 2 to 25 Euro depending on terms of contract and type of services. The total amount of the payments shall be debited to your account in the end of each month. This modality is more economical and works well for those who do not require medical care often.
In this case, there are no extra charges of any sort. This option is recommended for those who require medical assistance more often, like in case of pregnancies, births or for children.
Insurance cover –cobertura-
That is a list of services an insured person may get, taking into account his or her sex, age and health condition, and most importantly, you have to know when after you get an insurance policy you may start using it for different services.
There is a time limit- tiempo de carencia, during which you will not be able to use certain services under your policy. For example, many insurance policies cover pregnancy and childbirth only 8-12 month after the insurance was contracted, for surgery or hospitalisation the policy will have to be contracted at least 3-6 months ago.
List of medical institutions, collaborating with the insurance company.
Not all insurance companies offer the same number and variety of healthcare institutions and specialists. Before you contract a health insurance, it is useful to check the list of medical institutions available with the policy in your region and English-speaking specialists in them.
Additional guarantees in a policy – dental service plan.
Company Expert Seguros, as representative of the insurance company Generali Seguros, has a vast practical experience in collaboration with the leading hospitals in the area of private healthcare.
For many years company Expert Seguros collaborates with multilingual specialists, who provide an extra-value to your medical service.
(Ilf and Petrov)