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Accessing medical care in Spain

As soon as you arrive in Spain make sure you familiarise yourself with some essential information.  Find out what the local emergency number is, and the location of the nearest hospital or health centre.  You could ask your tour company representative, local guide or manager for this information. 
 
The general emergency telephone number in Spain is 112 and this is a free number which should connect you to an English speaking operator (sometimes a German or French operator in tourist areas).  However, it is helpful to research some phrases in Castilian Spanish (the main language of Spain) so consult your phrase book for some simple vocabulary in case of emergency and also memorise the translation for any medical conditions, medication or allergies you may have.
If you need to see a doctor in Spain and you have travel insurance you can call your insurance company and ask them for a list of recommended doctors or you can find an English speaking doctor on this site or find one in the Spanish Yellow Pages (Páginas Amarillas), or at your hotel or ask for a word of mouth recommendation.  Don't forget to keep your receipts/paperwork safe as you will need these when you return home and make your claim.
 
If you need treatment while in Spain remember you can get free treatment in a public ward of a public hospital with your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). 
 
Doctors, health centres and hospitals have separate surgery times for private patients and those treated under the state health service.  Note that private doctors and hospitals in Spain will not accept the EHIC so if you would prefer to be seen privately then you must be prepared to settle your own bills, or have travel medical insurance.  If a doctor/surgery/hospital asks you to pay then you are not being treated under the Spanish health service - and your EHIC will not be accepted for payment.  There are no refunds for private healthcare charges so it is advisable to have private medical insurance in case you are treated in a private hospital in an emergency situation.

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