Spain's Healthcare System
The healthcare of Spain is quite different from the healthcare of many other countries, but there are some similarities. First of all, anyone who pays social security taxes within the country is given free or low cost healthcare. This is state provided for each and every citizen and their dependents. There are even forms that non-residents can fill out so that they do not get hit with high medical costs while traveling through Spain.
Tourists can receive free health insurance for up to three months. After this point, they will need to go to the government and apply for a European Health Insurance Card. In addition to being able to get health insurance in Spain, some citizens of foreign countries are also able to qualify for national health insurance. This could be because they have moved to Spain, but might be drawing on retirement from France. Whatever the case, so long as they continue to pay social security in Spain, they are covered under the national healthcare system.
Private healthcare is still the way that many Spanish citizens choose to go. This is not only because of the overall situation with healthcare in Spain, but because it is much more timely. People who only have government health insurance in Spain are having to deal with delays for treatment, specialists and all types of different problems with the equipment. However, those who have private health insurance are able to get the care they need, want and deserve quickly and efficiently. The speed of attention that private healthcare companies give is almost amazing. Some individuals get service the same day they request it. However, with the government based health insurance, you could be waiting weeks or even months depending upon what type of specialist that you need to be seen by.
The Spanish healthcare system is known to be one of the best in the world. While it is considered to be one of the best, there are still a few flaws that are causing people to second guess themselves. Not only can waits for public treatment be long, but they can almost be dangerous. This is causing more and more private citizens to go out and purchase their private health insurance. This covers them for certain treatments that they government cannot provide in a timely manor, or simply will not provide. Do not be without health insurance, you will want it when you are in Spain!