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Locating hospitals and health centres in Spain

The Spanish National Health System has an extensive network of public and private health centres and hospitals throughout the country.  Health centres in Spain are located within 15 minutes of any place of residence.  In small villages and in rural areas there are local surgeries open on certain days with visits from regional healthcare staff. 
Hospitals offer specialised attention, with access via referral from primary healthcare services.  Accident and Emergency services are available at hospitals and some health centres.  More information can be found at the Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo website (the Ministry of Health). 
Because the country is divided into different regions the availability of services does tend to vary so you may need to travel to a different area for treatment if the facilities are not available locally.  In rural areas and in small villages there are local surgeries open on certain days with visits from healthcare staff from the region.
A state surgery is called a 'consultorio', a health centre is a 'centro sanitario' and a hospital clinic is an 'ambulatorio'.  If necessary, and if you are too poorly to get to a doctor's surgery, a doctor will visit you at home at in the day or at night.  With your European Health Card (EHIC) you will be seen by a GP at a local health centre (or in your home if you are too poorly that you cannot make it to the centre). 
If you need to see a specialist or go into hospital, the GP will give you the relevant medical certificate or referral.  If you need to see a doctor in Spain and you've got travel insurance you can call your insurance company and ask them for a list of recommended doctors, find a Spanish doctor on this site or or you can find one in the Spanish Yellow Pages (Páginas Amarillas), or from your hotel.
Many doctors and nurses speak English, particularly in tourist areas, and there are usually interpreters.  In the health centres, hospitals and clinics the Spanish nurses tend to deal more with medical issues, rather than serving food and dealing with bed pans which is more often the case in UK hospitals.  Medicines are available from pharmacies, which are recognisable by a green cross outside.  You will find that many medicines are cheaper in Spain than in the UK, and items like antibiotics are available over the counter in pharmacies. 

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