Healthcare for UK nationals visiting Spain

Healthcare for UK nationals visiting Spain

Healthcare in Spain is good, but it is different from the UK. The healthcare system is mostly public and free of charge, but there are some exceptions.

Hospital and health services

Healthcare in Spain is free and available to all EU citizens, but you may need to register with a doctor. You will also need to show your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

You can get an EHIC online or by post. If you’re registered with the NHS and have been living in another EU country for over 6 months, then it’s likely that you already have an EHIC card. If not, then visit your GP who should be able to check if they can issue one on request as long as they believe there are no issues regarding eligibility for Spanish healthcare coverage.

Public Holidays

Spain has a lot of public holidays. Some are religious, others are related to the royal family, and some are regional rather than national in nature. To find out what holidays will be celebrated on your trip, check out this list from the U.S Office of Travel & Tourism:


Vaccinations are not required for travel to Spain. If you are traveling to a country where vaccinations are required, make sure you have had them before departure and check the advice of the UK government and your GP.

Healthcare in Spain can be good, but it is different from the UK.

EU citizens are entitled to free healthcare and there are no charges for emergency treatment or hospital stays. The Spanish National Health System covers all citizens and residents, including non-residents (who pay taxes in Spain). You may even be able to claim back some of your medical costs from your employer as part of their social security contributions if you have worked for them for at least 12 months.

The cost of healthcare will vary depending on what procedure is being carried out and where it takes place. However, we have found that there tend not to be any more expensive than in the UK so long as you use reputable private clinics rather than overpriced NHS hospitals


Healthcare in Spain is good and affordable, but it is different from the UK. If you are visiting for a short period of time with no plans to return, this guide will be enough for you to get by. However, if you have serious health problems or want to live there permanently then it would be wise to look into getting insurance coverage through your private medical care provider before traveling here or to any other destination abroad.

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