Doctors in Spain
Posted by SandeepJ
Information about doctors in Spain including both public doctors through the public clinic system and making private doctors appointments. See the extensive list of English speaking doctors in Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga, Spain.
People I’ve talked to have said nothing but good things about the doctors in Spain. They’re well educated, practical and prescribe good drugs (that are often so much cheaper than back home!). For almost every ailment you can think of, you’ll be treated with every respect, and to some of the best care in Europe.
In any case, the procedure for getting a doctor within the public health care system is as follows (also see health care and insurance in Spain):
Once you get your empadronamiento, you take your form to the local clinic (they’ll tell you where your clinic is at the registration centre for your empadronamiento). You present the form along with your work permit and work contract (if you have those, better that you do, although you won’t be refused) to the desk after waiting the obligatory hour or more where they’ll present you with a shiny new card good for free public health care at your local doctor’s office.
This doctor will usually be provided or assigned to you, although I believe you can try to specify any that you might know in the area. The next time you need to go to the doctor you’ll call the number for your doctor (which you’ll get along with the card) and thus you set up an appointment with them.
In case of emergencies, you can take your card with you to the hospital and should receive free medical attention. I say “should” because I personally haven’t yet had an emergency to verify this. I hope to keep it that way. Let me know what your experience has been in the ExpatTalkback comments below.
Private Doctors Appointments
Despite the above assurances, you may still want to avoid the adventure of the Spanish public health care system and stick to private health insurance and care, which exists in Spain’s two tier health care system.
Check out our page about health care and medical insurance in Spain for information about getting your medical insurance. Note that it would appear that doctors prefer dealing with larger insurance companies that they know, otherwise you’ll end up paying for your appointment up front and recouping the costs with your insurance company later.
When making an appointment, call your insurance company first to let them know you’re sick and seeking medical attention (unless it’s an emergency of course). They’ll either provide you with a prefered doctor or you can tell them you’ve chosen another one (verify that this is okay). Also be sure to make a list of the receipts and verifications needed for costs reimbursement.
Next, call the doctor to make an appointment. In my experience they didn’t have a secretary, I left a message to which she responded within a few hours.