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Before You Go: Traveler Healthcare in Spain

Travel health insurance recommended

Spain has a modern healthcare system under the National Health Service. Hospitals and health centers are available throughout the country.

Pharmacies: You can identify a pharmacy in Spain by it’s green cross, and some pharmacies are open 24 hours.

Medical Care for most Europeans: Residents of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) at any public medical facilities or private facilities.

Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru have reciprocal healthcare agreements with Spain (at time of posting).

Medical Care for Other Travelers: If you do not have a valid European health card, you may be responsible for the full cost of any treatment up front, though most facilities accept travel insurance.

If you’re bringing prescription medications:
  1. Check to see if there are restrictions on your medication in your destination country, especially if the medication contains narcotics, amphetamines or other often controlled substances
  2. Bring medications in their original, labeled container. Never carry loose medication
  3. Include your dated prescription signed by your doctor, certifying the condition the medications are prescribed for, dosages and their generic drug names. Ensure the name on the prescription, container and your passport all match.
  4. If you need syringes or needles, your doctor includes their need on the prescription.
  5. Before you leave, find out how you can legally access medications in the case of loss, theft or emergency – even OTC medication may require documentation from your doctor. Never have controlled substances mailed to you
  6. If legal, consider bring a second container of any essential medications, in case one is lost or stolen. Pack the primary bottle in your carry on, and the second one in another location. Personal-use quantity restrictions may limit you to 30-or 90-day supplies
Travel Health Insurance Checklist:
  1. Investigate travel health insurance options
  2. Be sure the plan includes any pre-existing conditions you have, and be sure to declare them before you go
  3. See if you need an “Extreme Sports” add-on policy if you’re planning activities like scuba diving or spelunking
  4. Find out the payment or reimbursement process and 24-hour emergency coverage contact