Healthcare in Barcelona

Healthcare in Barcelona

If you are planning a move, or you are simply visiting, healthcare in Barcelona is one of the most important factors to take into consideration.

Spain has the 5th longest life expectancy in the world. The sunshine, Mediterranean diet and relaxed lifestyle appear to be the perfect combination for a good life.

Spain’s national health service is also a key factor. Catalunya boasts several world renowned public hospitals, both for research into ground breaking medical discoveries and “new to world” operations.

Public healthcare in Barcelona

The Catalan public health service is called Servei Català de la Salut  (link to page in Spanish and Catalan), also known as CatSalut, and offers high quality healthcare to all citizens of Catalunya.

In order to access CatSalut, you must be either paying into the social security system (through a work contract or self employed) or be in receipt of the S1 form issued by your home country. S1 form is a certificate of entitlement to healthcare if you don’t live in the country where you are insured. Useful for posted workers, cross-border workers, pensioners and civil servants and their dependants.

If you don’t fulfil either of these criteria, you can apply for the conveni especial through your nearest CAP (local doctor). The conveni especial enables foreigners to pay for access to CatSalut. The basic monthly fee is 60€ for the under 65s and 157€ for those aged 65 and above. However, prescriptions are not subsidised at this rate so you would pay 100% of prescription costs.

Private healthcare in Barcelona

25% of Spanish families have private health insurance. In Catalunya this rises to 33%. Common benefits of contracting private health cover are the reduced waiting times for specialist care, comfort of hospitals and opportunity to choose English speaking specialists.

Some of the larger insurance companies include: Sanitas (part of Bupa), CignaAllianzAdeslas, and Assistència Sanitària

Each company offers a range of different levels of coverage, from basic cover to fully comprehensive, and with or without co-pagaments (extra payments each time you visit a doctor).

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you are visiting Barcelona from within the European Union, you should apply for the European Health Insurance Card. This will cover you for medical emergencies, and only if you are visiting for a limited period eg. a holiday.

If you’re planning to stay for longer, get yourself covered!

If you are feeling a bit lost, we can walk you through the whole process. Services provided by the Smart Relocations team include:

  • Obtaining the Catalan health service card (“Targeta Sanitari Individual”) for you, and each member of your family, which enables you to register with your local doctor and access the national health service;
  • Accompany you when registering at your local doctor;
  • Choosing a private health insurer and getting signed up;
  • Guidance and information on the health service in Barcelona

Contact us today


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