The Spanish National Healthcare Service is considered to be one of the best in Europe. Most statistics show the the equal of the UK NHS and in some cases better. Access to this service is freely available to EU citizens as long as you have taken the necessary steps to prove your entitlement to the Spanish authorities, which in the case of a retired person’s S1 document will include applying for a Green Residence registration certificate. The rules for getting state healthcare in Spain are different , the system is contribution based not residence based as in the UK.
A European Health Card will entitle visitors to Spain to health service cover for holiday stays of up to 90 days at a time only.
Once you have obtained all the necessary permits, you then have to register with your local GP to finalize the process., Most National health GPs in Tenerife DO NOT speak English and will require you to bring an interpreter. I can translate at this initial meeting and accompany you to any subsequent doctors or specialist appointments. You would be wise to bring any records of previous medical history with you.
Prescriptions are NOT free even for Pensioners a small percentage contribution is payable for each item of medication.
Ways of qualifying for permanent healthcare entitlement in Spain
- If you are registered to work in Spain and make national insurance contributions then you can get state-run health care on the same basis as a Spanish national. For further information, get in touch with your local TGSS office.
- If you registered as a resident in Spain before 24 April 2012, have an annual income of less than €100,000 and are not covered for healthcare though any other means, speak to your local INSS office to register for healthcare in Spain as a resident.
- If you are in receipt of a UK old age state pension or long term sickness benefit, obtain an S1 form from the International Pension Centre on +44 191 218 7777. Once issued, register the S1 form with your local INSS office, before you register with your local GP surgery and obtain a medical card.
- If you are a worker seconded to Spain, or the family member of a someone making UK national insurance contributions, contact HMRC to see if you have entitlement to an S1 form. Once issued, register the S1 form with your local INSS office , before you register with your local GP surgery.
- If you are coming to study or are currently studying in Spain as part of a UK-recognised course, you may be entitled to healthcare paid for by the UK .
- Purchasing Public Health Insurance -If you are not covered for state-run healthcare through other means, the Spanish regional health authorities offer a special pay-in scheme (convenio especial). This is a public health insurance scheme available nation-wide where you pay a monthly fee to access state-run healthcare. The scheme is managed by each autonomous region. Policy holders, including children, pay on an individual basis for access to public healthcare, regardless of pre-existing conditions, anywhere in Spain. The basic monthly fee is 60€ for the under 65s and 157€ for those aged 65 and above. However, prescriptions are not subsidised at this rate so you would pay 100% of prescription costs. This form of cover doesn’t give holders the right to a Spanish EHIC so if youtravel elsewhere you will have to obtain private insurance. The scheme is available in the Canary Islands
Use the table here to find more information on your particular circumstances.
Information from the UK perspective here