Health and Support Services for Students in Spain
Here’s a lowdown on the support services available for you!
The TSI health card covers care from doctors and hospitals. It also covers treatment at home, which can be particularly useful to the elderly and disabled. Presenting a TSI card means you pay no fees when receiving treatment at hospitals or from a doctor in Spain. The prescription fee at pharmacies, however, must be paid by you at the time of purchase.
TSI covers between 40–60% of the cost of prescription drugs, depending on your earnings (90% for pensioners). Although individuals are liable for the remaining cost, prescription drugs in Spain are relatively cheap.
Dental work in Spain does not fall under the public care system and must be paid for in full by the individual unless they have private health insurance. Dentist fees are relatively inexpensive, and the general quality of care is of a high standard. However, private health insurance can halve the costs, with dental insurance costing as low as €10–20 per month.
Spanish private health insurance companies offer a range of packages that cater specifically to your circumstances. It is important to thoroughly research your health insurance options and seek as much advice as possible before committing to a specific plan.
Foreigners should check if their package provides the same protection in Spain as it does back home.EU nationals who frequently travel outside of the EU may also consider private health insurance, as the EHIC card only covers travel within the EU.
Pharmacies and medication
Whether it is for the occasional pain killer or for regular, essential medication, the chances are that you will need to visit a farmacia in Spain at some point. The good news is that usually, this is an excellent, well-organized, and easily accessible service. However, there are differences between the way pharmacies in Spain function and what you might be used to. Pharmacies in Spain stock a wide variety of non-prescription medicines on their shelves as well as health and beauty products. Some items that you could obtain more widely in other countries are only available from there. For example, you cannot buy painkillers in the supermarkets, and there is no equivalent to Boots.
Pharmacists in Spain are well-trained and will provide treatment advice for many common illnesses and ailments. Spain is quite unrestrictive when it comes to the distribution of medications that are strictly prescription drugs in other countries, although according to the law, medication such as antibiotics must have a prescription. Medicine tends to cost significantly less than in other countries due to state-imposed price restrictions. However, it does vary throughout the country. In some places, you might get some generic medicine without a prescription, but it is usually more expensive this way instead of getting it prescribed from a doctor.
Hospitals and emergency rooms
If you seek emergency treatment at a Spanish hospital, you will typically be required to show proof of your Spanish health insurance or other forms, although this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be refused in an emergency. In case of emergency (ambulance, fire and rescue, police), call 112, a toll-free number that works 24/7 across the EU, Spain included. The 112-call center immediately identifies the caller’s location. It has interpreting services covering as many as 80 languages.
The hospitals, doctors’ offices and specialty centers in Spain are all state-of-the-art facilities that use the latest technology and equipment to ensure the best of care for each patient that is seen by the doctor. You can expect professional doctors and friendly staff members willing to help you with all your medical needs small and large.
Your travel insurance will not usually cover you for anything other than emergency dental treatment. Not all insurance covers emergency aeromedical evacuation homes, which may be the only way to get medical attention for a serious emergency.