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25 Nov

Accessing the NHS

November 25, 2016 |

Like many British residents in Spain at some point you will be returning to the UK for a holiday. Hopefully when the times comes, you won’t have to see a doctor. But if you do, you need to be up to date on how to access the NHS because the process has changed. This is especially true if you are a UK state pensioner. Intrigued? Then read on!

Please note that we have divided the information by social security status (e.g. state pensioner, worker etc) and how you are accessing public healthcare in Spain. Just scroll down and look for which grouping best fits your personal situation.

If you have any questions about the information below, feel free to contact our team at healthcare.spain@fco.gov.uk

All the best,

The Healthcare Team

1. State Pensioners with a UK issued S1 form OR Posted workers from UK to Spain (you may have an S1 form issued by HMRC or using a UK issued EHIC in Spain):

What kind of cover do you get?

Official line:

You have the right not to be charged for the secondary care and will need to access healthcare on the same basis as a UK resident. Primary care is free at the point of use. It’s up to GPs surgery whether they will accept patients from abroad.

What this means:

If the local surgery accepts, you can see a GP. If you do need to see a specialist you will need a referral from the GP. You will only be charged for treatment if UK residents would be charged for the same treatment.

You will also pay for prescriptions on the same basis as a UK resident. If exemptions apply to paying for residents, they will apply to you too. This means that state pensioners will not pay for prescriptions while in the UK.

Please note that Primary care is usually NHS GP offices and some Walk-in-Clinics (depending on the set up), as well as some dentist and ophthalmology services. Secondary care is everything else, including A&E and hospital treatments.

What do you need to present at the GP surgery or hospital?

State Pensioners will need to:

  • ask reception or the billing department to call the Overseas Healthcare Team on 0191 218 1999 to verify that you do have a registered S1 in Spain. Please have your national insurance number at hand.

Posted workers will need to provide:

  • NHS number OR
  • ask reception or the billing department to call the Overseas Healthcare Team on 0191 218 1999 to verify that you do have a registered S1 in Spain. Please have your national insurance number at hand.
2.  Worker in Spain contributing to Spanish social security,  in receipt of Spanish state pension or benefit or registered on the basis of residency prior to the 24th April 2012 (who might not have contributed to the Spanish system):

What kind of cover do you get?

You are covered on a Spain issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or tarjeta sanitaria europea. This means you are covered for any state-provided medically necessary care that cannot wait until your planned date of return to Spain. Click here for information on how to apply for a Spanish EHIC card (sometimes you will only get a temporary card or certificate).

You will pay for prescriptions on the same basis as a UK resident. If exemptions apply to paying for residents, they will apply to you too.

What do you need to present at the GP surgery or hospital?

Spain issued EHIC

3. Accessing healthcare in Spain as “limite de rentas”:

What kind of cover do you get?

You are covered on a Spain issued Certificado Provisional Sustitorio (CPS), which is like a temporary EHIC. This means you are covered for any state-provided medically necessary care that cannot wait until your planned date of return to Spain

You will pay for prescriptions on the same basis as a UK resident. If exemptions apply to paying for residents, they will apply to you too.

What do you need to present at the GP surgery or hospital?

Spain issued CPS (you will need to apply for this every time you decide to travel within EEA countries)

4. Early Retiree (covered by private healthcare or convenio especial):

What kind of cover do you need?

Private travel insurance or you can choose to pay for any NHS services you use

You will pay 100% for prescriptions or whatever your insurance covers

What do you need to present at the GP surgery or hospital?

You will need to show your insurance policy or pay upfront.

 

 

Comments

  1. Carol pozzi

    I moved over to benelmadena on 16th September I thought I would still be registered with my doctor back on the uk for 3 months but found that I have been struck off .Iam staying here till the 15tj march next year and I have taken out an insurance policy to cover me for the 6 months but it’s only valid if o have a registered doctor any advice would be helpful.I am on medication for my thyrod

    • The Healthcare Team

      Hello Carol,

      The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can cover you for any necessary care while you are on holiday in Spain. This would cover repeat prescriptions for your thyroid. Please see here for more information on prescriptions and here for information on EHIC cover.

  2. Brenda

    I have high blood pressure and take warfarin how do I get these meds in Spain

    • The Healthcare Team

      Hi Brenda! If you are visiting Spain you can see a GP to renew your prescriptions by presenting your EHIC at the local healthcare centre. See here for more information on EHIC rights and obligations. If you live in Spain you will need to register for healthcare with the Spanish authorities (see how here) and then see a GP. If you would like to know if your brand of medication is available in Spain, you can write in English to the Spanish Ministry of Health at this address: sdgf@msssi.es

  3. Karen Cooper

    What would the charges be for oxygen cylinders to be delivered while on holiday and would there be any time limit on keeping them.

    • Karen Cooper

      What would the charges be for oxygen to be delivered while on holiday and would there be any time limit on keeping them

    • The Healthcare Team

      Hi Karen. A mini-guide on how to organise oxygen on your holiday can be found on our website here. The guide includes a list of the documentation you need to include and where to send them. Oxygen is normally free if you organise it using the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), but there may be exceptions depending on where you visit and how much oxygen you need. If you need any further informaiton after reading our guide please get in touch with us through our contact page here.

  4. Ginette Adey

    Myself & my husband surrendered our S1 forms to the Spanish Authorities when we applied for our SIP card for medical care here in Spain. Can we be issued a copy to present if we needed medical care whilst on holiday in the UK? My other question is…what will happen to us with regards to medical treatment in Spain if the UK vote to come out of the EU? Thank you x

    • The Healthcare Team

      Hi Ginette, if you did not keep a copy of the S1 when you first received it, I’m afraid that you will need to follow instructions highlighted in this blog post above. For more information about the EU Referendum, please read our blog post on the link below.

      Link: http://healthcareinspain.eu/2016/02/eu-referendum/

  5. Maxine

    I am on antidepressants in the uk, I have been on then for over 30 years. How would I be able to be prescribed them if I were living in Spain for part of the year.

    • The Healthcare Team

      Hi Maxine, if you will be staying temporarily in Spain you will be covered by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Please read the information on prescriptions on the link provided below to find out more about how to obtain these and what the co-payment charges would be in your circumstances.

      Link: http://healthcareinspain.eu/visiting-spain/#prescriptions