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The healthcare system

The quality of healthcare in Spain is quite good. There are both public (funded by social insurance) and private hospitals. The main health institutions are health centres, surgeries and hospitals.

Spain has signed bilateral agreements concerning healthcare with many countries. Citizens of those countries must apply for the European Health Insurance Card in their countries in order to be entitled to public healthcare in Spain.

The governments of Autonomous Communities manage their own public health centres as a part of the Spanish National Health System. You can find lists of hospitals and health centres in local councils. In the national health system, the healthcare is free of charge and when a specialist's care is necessary, the patient must get an official referral from their doctor. Medicine is prescribed by the doctor on official prescription pads and the patient pays 40% of their price. Some medicine is not refunded by the national health system. Hospital treatment is free of charge and patients are entitled to certain free benefits such as prostheses, braces, transfusions etc., when they are necessary.

How to get the European Health Insurance Card.

Trips abroad are becoming more and more common. That is why we need to know that the National Health System offers the European Health Insurance Card. EHIC is a document proving our right to public health care. Thanks to it we can access medical treatment in a certain country under the same conditions as the citizens of the country.

How to get it and who is entitled?

Everybody who is insured by a social security scheme have the right to obtain EHIC.
Parents, children and the remaining members of the family can apply for the card. It is issued for a set period from 2 to 6 months. For retired people it can be issued for up to 5 years.

People who plan to visit temporarily another EEA country can apply for an EHIC if they go there, eg.:

  • on holiday
  • to visit friends or family
  • on a business trip
  • to study

Where can you obtain the card?

In order to obtain a European Health Insurance Card you must apply in the NHS office which is closest to where you live. An application form can be obtained from Local Health Offices.

The card is issued on the same day. In case you do not have a document proving your social security contributions, NHS has got 7 days to process the application.


EHIC does not automatically entitle you to free health care. It only allows you to claim a refund of the medical treatment you undergo abroad. When you return to your country you can apply for a refund at your Local Health Office showing your application and all the medical bills.

The quality of health care in Spain has changed but it is still very good.

Below we present a list of health centres in Torrevieja:

Centro de salud - it is a health centre
Centro de Salud La Mata.
Avda. de Holanda, 51
03188 – Torrevieja
Nr. telefonu 965 290 300

Centro Sanitario Integrado (C.S.I.) La Loma.
C/ Virgen del Mar s/n
03180 – Torrevieja
Nr. telefonu: 965 290 340.

Hospital in Torrevieja

1. Hospital Universitario de Torrevieja
Torrevieja a San Miguel de Salinas Cv 95
Torrevieja Alicante 03186
Teléfono: (+0034) 965 721 200

2. Hospital Quirón Torrevieja
Partida de la Loma, s/n, 03184 Torrevieja, Alicante
Teléfono:966 92 13 13



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