Andalucia has an exceptional public health system and its services are free.
Although what is affordable is relative to individuals, the public healthcare system presents itself as the Most Affordable Health Insurance In Andalucia
However, unless you are an Andalucian or a resident foreign worker, you would not be able to access the services of the public healthcare services. For this reason, many immigrants opt for private health insurance policies.
Public Healthcare System In Andalucia
Andalucia operates under the Spanish National Healthcare and just like in the UK, public healthcare services are funded principally by general taxation(social security payments deducted from your salary).
If you are a resident or a worker in Andalucia, you will have access to the healthcare system. The national health system is managed by the Spanish Ministry of Health and it works hand in hand with the private healthcare system and provides medical specialists, doctors, hospitals, and healthcare centres.
Primary Healthcare Services
In Andalucia, primary Healthcare services are available and accessible within a 15-minute radius from your place of residence, wherever it may be.
The National health service operates on principles of maximum accessibility and equity. This means that primary healthcare should provide home care whenever necessary and deal with disease prevention and health promotion.
The major facilities are the healthcare centres, staffed by GPs(General practitioners), nurses, paediatricians, midwives, social workers, physiotherapists(in some cases) as well as administrative services.
General practitioners refer patients for specialist treatment when they need it. Specialist care is provided in specialist care centres and hospitals as outpatient and inpatient care.
Patients who have received specialist care are referred back to their primary doctor(GP) who takes responsibility for follow-up care and treatment, ensuring the provision of continuous care regardless of the place of residence and individual circumstances.
Eligibility For National Healthcare
The majority of the residents in Andalucia are covered by the national healthcare service. You can be eligible:
- If you live in Spain and receive state benefits
- If you are a resident, self-employed, or working and paying social security contributions
- If you are a state pensioner
- If you are an Eu citizen or resident visiting Spain registered for EHIC
- If you are a student in Spain under the age of 26
- If you are pregnant or a child resident in Spain
- If you are married to a worker making social security contributions
- If you are a resident in Spain and are separated/divorced from your partner who is eligible for social security.
Citizens and residents from countries with bilateral agreements with Spain can get short-term or emergency care from Spanish State Healthcare System. These countries include Brazil, Chile, Peru, Andorra, and Ecuador. If you do not qualify, you must arrange for private health insurance to cover your treatment.
Registering For Spanish State Healthcare
To access free healthcare services as a resident, you’d need to register with the nearest social security office and obtain a social security number. You would be issued a certificate showing you are entitled to the States healthcare.
You will need to provide your residency certificate, ID card or passport and proof that you have registered your address with your local town hall.
After you have gotten your social security number and eligibility certificate, you can apply for a TSI health card (Tarjeta Sanitaria Individual). Your health card can either be mailed to you or you can arrange to collect it personally.
Private Healthcare In Andalucia
People who do not qualify for public healthcare would have to purchase private health insurance to cover any medical expenses. Some residents also buy private health to avoid the long waiting times to see specialists associated with the public healthcare system.
Private health providers usually offer faster healthcare services to patients and some other value-added services like mailing of test results, keeping patients informed via email and SMS, and access to private rooms.
Private health insurance provides a wide range of options giving you flexibility in your choice of healthcare treatments and ease of access.
In Spain, health insurance policies come in two main categories;
- An insurer provides the client with an extensive network of doctors, specialists, hospitals, and medical centres throughout Spain in exchange for an agreed premium. The patient would simply visit one of the medical centres and show his membership card, and the centre will invoice the insurer directly.
- A patient would have access to the aforementioned network of healthcare services in Spain, but can also use a doctor or specialist of his choice, either in Spain or anywhere in the world.
However, private health insurance policies do not cover pre-existing medical conditions.
Average Cost Of Health Insurance In Andalucia
The specific cost of health insurance in Andalucia is dependent on certain factors. These factors include age, level of coverage, the health of the applicant, and the amount of deductible you choose to make toward your claim.
On average, private healthcare costs between 50 – 200Euro per month.
Where To Find Doctors
When in an emergency or in need of urgent treatment, you can go to the Accident and Emergency unit(A&E) or ER (Urgencias) at a local hospital or receive free treatment.
If it is a life-threatening condition, call the European emergency number 112 from any mobile or landline.
Other emergency phone numbers are:
Emergency doctor – 1003
Ambulance – 061 or 112
Emergency dentist – 961 496 199
On-duty pharmacist – 963 600 313
However, you will need to show your social security card or healthcare insurance policy details.
Many GPs and specialists work in private practices, GP surgeries, or health centres. Medical centres have a wide range of staff including nurses, GPs, paediatricians, gynaecologists, and physiotherapists.
Although you are entitled to choose your GP (general practitioner), you have to be referred to see a specialist. Waiting times apply and so you may want to use private health insurance to see a specialist sooner.
STD tests and sexual health advice are free and condoms are available over the counter at pharmacies. Abortion is legal during the first trimester and only permitted after in extreme circumstances like a serious threat to life.
Healthcare For Children
Children under the age of 15 are entitled to free state healthcare via their parent’s healthcare coverage. Vaccination programs include protection against polio, hepatitis B, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, and diphtheria.
Spanish Dental Care
In Spain, dental care is not free as part of the state healthcare system except for children under 15 or requiring emergency treatment. You would be required to pay for any dental care or take out insurance to cover any dental treatment.
alternative medicine, according to Spanish law can only be offered by those with full medical qualifications. This includes acupuncture, homoeopathy, reflexology, and chiropractic treatment, and these services are not covered by state healthcare.
Also, If you need medical treatment in Andalucia and do not speak Spanish fluently, it would be wise to take an interpreter or a Spanish dictionary with you.
Private Health Insurance Companies In Andalucia
Several companies are offering private health in Andalucia. Some include:
National healthcare is generally the most affordable way of getting health insurance in Andalucia but if you do not qualify or you need more services you can purchase private health policies. You can compare quotes online to find the best policies that would suit your needs.
There are several main companies offering private health insurance in Spain including Aetna, Cigna, Bupa and Allianz. It’s a good idea to get several quotes before choosing a company and make sure they operate at a hospital close to where you live.