I do not know how to register for Spanish healthcare

I do not know how to register for Spanish healthcare

(The decision by the UK to leave the European Union (EU) in the future does not currently change your rights in any way. The British government advises all British nationals living in Spain to ensure they are registered as resident and have a valid green credit-card-sized (or A4-sized) certificate.)  

As a British national, you will first need to register as a resident at the nearest National Police station to where you live, followed by registering on the census of your local town hall, (padrón/certificado de empadronamineto).  Please click here to find out how to do this if you have not already done so.

(Please note that if you intend to be in Spain more than three months you should register.  This does not affect your tax residency status and helps you access many Spanish health and social services that you may be entitled to.)

If you already have your residency certificate and also proof of your registration on the local padrón, you should visit your local social security office (Instituto Nacional de Seguridad Social /INSS) for a documento acreditativo, which acts as proof of your entitlement to healthcare.

For further details and up-to-date information on how to register for healthcare in Spain, please click here to see the UK government’s Department of Health website ‘Healthcare in Spain’.

To find your nearest social security office in Spain please click here and enter the name of the town or village where you live.

If you are receiving a pension in the UK, you will also need to take with you your form S1 from the UK health authorities. Click here for more information on the S1.

With your INSS proof of eligibility, (documento acreditativo), and your newly issued social security number on it,  you will be able to register at the health centre nearest to where you live and apply for a tarjeta sanitaria (health card), which you are required to take to the doctors, hospital or the pharmacy for prescriptions each time you visit.

To find your nearest health centre in Spain please click here and enter the name of the town or village where you live.

British nationals who are residing and working in Spain OR those who are retired and receive a UK pension are entitled to register for Spanish public healthcare. Similarly, if you are a child or spouse of someone working and living, or who has worked and lived, in Spain you are likely to also have rights to Spanish healthcare.

If you are not entitled to register, you may be able to pay for access to the Spanish public healthcare system on a monthly basis. For more details on this and other healthcare provision in Spain see this UK Department of Health website, www.healthcareinspain.eu.

Note: British nationals living in Spain and who gained their entitlement to Spanish state healthcare through initially presenting their S1 form (see above), (which normally means UK pensioners getting a UK State Pension and registered as living in Spain), are also entitled to still use the British National Health Service, (NHS), as well for treatment, even for temporary stays. This is because the British Government is paying for their healthcare in Spain. British nationals not getting Spanish healthcare as a result of their S1 form but who are registered for public healthcare in Spain cannot continue to use the NHS in the UK except for emergency treatment on short stays and by presenting their valid Spanish-issued blue EHIC card.

Note: Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) has not currently changed any of this information while the UK remains part of the EU and the same rights and obligations of British nationals in Spain still apply.



Last Update: September 9, 2019  

September 9, 2017   964    Healthcare  
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