EMERGENCY TREATMENT using public (state) healthcare
If you need to see a doctor and are NOT registered for Spanish healthcare, as a British national your blue European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is only valid as follows:
Who is entitled to the UK EHIC?
People on holiday or on a temporary visit to Spain who ordinarily reside in the UK.
If you are on a holiday or a temporary stay in Spain e.g. you have a second home for a few months of the year, but still consider that you live mainly in the UK, you can use the UK European Health Insurance Card in Spain.
If your EHIC has expired, make sure to renew it before leaving the UK if you are going on holiday or a temporary visit to Spain.
If you are a UK state pensioner / insured person with a registered S1 / E121 in Spain, the UK EHIC is only for use outside of Spain when on holiday within the European Union (until 31 December 2020 only)*.
Remember to show your EHIC with your passport.
If you are already in Spain without an EHIC and you need a doctor, you can apply for a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) from the UK government’s Overseas Healthcare Team. You (or the billing department at the local health centre or state-run hospital) can request this by sending an email to OVERSEAS.HEALTHCARE@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK with the following information:
Full name, date of birth, UK National Insurance number, dates of hospital treatment (including admission and discharge), email address of the hospital billing department (“facturación” – if you are requesting the PRC yourself).
*UK-issued EHICs are only valid for short temporary stays in Spain and the EU that start before 31 December 2020. After that date, EHICs may no longer be valid unless a new agreement is reached with the EU, and visitors (i.e those not registered as residents) will need private health cover or be asked to pay.
If you are not entitled to a UK-issued EHIC, for example because you have become a resident in Spain and do not use the UK health system, you will need to register for Spanish public health care, or seek a private alternative.
NON EMERGENCY TREATMENT using public (state) healthcare
You will not be entitled to non emergency treatment in Spain with an EHIC. Instead you should register as a resident in Spain and then register with your local health centre. For details on this process, please click here.
Remember to take your tarjeta sanitaria (health card) with you when visiting the doctor or the pharmacy for prescriptions.
Note: If you use Spanish public healthcare and you are not entitled to an EHIC issued by the UK (for temporary stays) or you are not entitled to register to receive public healthcare (if you live here permanently), you may be charged for the care provided in public hospitals or health centres.
If you are not entitled to register, you may be able to pay for access to the Spanish public healthcare system by payinh a quota on a monthly basis under something called the Convenio Especial . For more details on all public healthcare provision in Spain see the Healthcare section of the UK government’s Living in Spain webpage.
TREATMENT WITH PRIVATE DOCTORS
For your long-term peace of mind, if you are not entitled to a EHIC and are not entitled to register as a resident to receive Spanish public healthcare, there are many providers of private health insurance and private healthcare listed on local websites, directories or through some voluntary organisations.
This website does not provide details of nor recommend individual private companies.
Think ahead for what you may do in an emergency situation and plan today for what might happen in the future.
For more support and general information on healthcare for UK nationals living in Spain, please see the British government’s Living in Spain guide: www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain
(According to the Withdrawal Agreement, Britain’s exit from the EU has not changed the rights of those Britons living in Spain into the future, providing you are registered as resident and have the green-coloured certificate (credit-card-sized or A4 sized) OR the equivalent TIE photo card that shows you were resident in Spain by the end of the transition period (31st December 2020))