This guide explains who can visit a hospital in Spain, plus provides an extensive list of Spanish hospitals, including major Madrid hospitals and Barcelona hospitals.
If you’re living in Spain and seeking emergency services or a Spanish hospital, you will find the Spanish healthcare system offers a wide range of quality public and private hospitals in Spain (or el hospital, hospital in Spanish with a silent ‘h’).
Health centres and hospitals in Spain
To qualify for free services in health centres and Spanish hospitals, you must either be registered with the state healthcare system, have private healthcare insurance, hold an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) or be a national from a country with a billateral health agreement with Spain – specifically, Andorra, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru. If not, you will be asked to pay medical fees unless it’s an emergency. Here is a helpful guide on registering with the Spanish health system.
Expats living and working in Spain will likely have access to the country’s free state healthcare insurance but some Spanish hospitals offer a combination of both public and private healthcare, so make sure it’s clear which type you want before seeking treatment.
After registering with Spanish healthcare, you must pick a designated doctor (médico de cabecera) as your primary care provider before visiting a Spanish hospital, unless it’s an emergency of course. Once you have taken these steps, you can typically see your doctor free of charge and, following referrals from your médico de cabecera, also see specialists.
For every visit to a public or private Spanish hospital, you must bring your goverment issued health card (Sistema de Informacion Poblacional or SIP) or proof of private insurance and another form of ID to claim free or subsidised healthcare services.
This guide explains everything you need to know before going to the hospital in Spain, as well provides a list of the main hospitals in Barcelona, Madrid and a few more main cities.
Public and private Spanish hospitals
The Spanish healthcare system is made up of private and public healthcare, with some Spanish hospitales (hospital in Spanish) and healthcare centres (centros de salud) offering both private (privado) and state healthcare services (asistencia sanitaria pública). You can find more Spanish healthcare terms in our Spanish medical dictionary.
Before going to the hospital in Spain, it is first important to determine what healthcare services are available to you depending on your healthcare coverage – whether it’s provided by the state, private healthcare insurance providers, your home country through the EHIC or bilateral agreements – and be clear on what type of service you want. Private hospitals in Spain, for example, do not accept the EHIC.
Doctors in Spain typically provide their patients with an outline of the services they are entitled to in a brochure called the Carta de Derechos y Deberes or Charter of Rights and Obligations, which can also be accessed online. It’s best to do prior research instead of being surprised with substantial medical fees.
Public and private hospitals in Spain are ranked among the best in the world but there can sometimes be long waiting lists to visit specialists and non-emergency operations under the state system. Patients seeking to see a specialist through the state system have to be referred by their doctor, while those with private health insurance may be able to visit a specialist directly. Some private health insurance companies have lists of approved private hospitals, doctors and specialists clients must choose from.
Some doctors and senior health professionals working in Spanish hospitals in larger cities and popular tourist destinations speak excellent English, while nurses and other staff won’t always be English speakers. There are typically more English-speaking doctors in private hospitals in Spain but state-run hospitals also have English-speaking medical employees or translators on staff.
Lists of hospitals in Spain with English-speaking doctors are also often available from tourist offices and embassies. If you are not a Spanish speaker, however, it is best to have a fluent Spanish speaker accompany you during your hospital visit.
Spanish hospitals in an emergency
If you seek emergency treatment at a Spanish hospital, you will typically be required to show proof of your Spanish health insurance or other form, although this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be refused in an emergency.
- For all emergencies, dial 112
- For an ambulance, dial 112 or 061
- For the police, dial 092
- For the fire brigade, dial 112 or 080.
- See a complete list of Spanish emergency numbers and helplines.
Insurance for hospital treatment in Spain
You will need to show proof of insurance when seeking treatment at hospitals in Spain. If you’re not covered by public insurance or want to opt for a higher level of insurance coverage, the following companies provide expat-friendly heath insurance that will cover hospital costs in Spain:
Find a hospital in Spain
You can find the nearest Spanish hospital and emergency services on the Spanish health ministry website. Checking rankings in El Confidencial‘s list of the top hospitals in Spain and El Mundo‘s interactive graphic on the main hospitals in Spain (websites in Spanish only).
- Hospital General Universitario de Alicante: Pintor Baeza, 11, 03010 Alicante | alicante.san.gva.es
- Hospital Vithas Internacional Medimar: Av. de Denia, 78, 03016 Alicante | vithas.es
- Hospital IMED Levante: Calle Doctor Ramón y Cajal, 7, 03503 Alicante | imedlevante.com
- Hospital Universitario de Torrevieja: Carretera CV-95 s/n, 03186 Torrevieja | torrevieja-salud.com
- Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron: Paseig de la Vall de Hebron, no. 119, 08035 Barcelona | vhebron.net
- Hospital del Mar: Paseig Marítim, 25-29, 08003 Barcelona | parcdesalutmar.cat
- Provicial Barcelona Hospital: Carrer de Villarroel, 170, 08036 Barcelona | hospitalclinic.org
- Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona: Passeig de Sant Joan de Déu, 2, 08950 Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona | sjdhospitalbarcelona.org
- Hospital de Barcelona: Avinguda Diagonal, 660, 08034 Barcelona | www.scias.com
- Centro Médico Teknon: Carrer de Vilana, 12, 08022 Barcelona | teknon.es
- Hospital San Rafael: San Juan de Dios, 19, 18001 Granada | sjdgranada.es
- Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves: Av. de las Fuerzas Armadas, 2, 18014 Granada | hvn.es
- Hospital Inmaculada: C/ Alejandro Otero, 8, 18004 Granada | hospital-inmaculada.es
- Hospital La Paz: Paseo de de Castellena, no. 261, 28046 Madrid | madrid.org
- Hospital Universitario HM Madrid: Plaza Conde del Valle de Suchil, 16, 28015 Madrid | hmmadrid.com
- Hospital de Cantoblanco: Carretera Colmenar Viejo, Km 14.500, 28049 Madrid | madrid.org
- Hospital Universitario Quironsalud Madrid: Calle Diego de Velázquez, 1, 28223 Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid | quironsalud.es
- Gregorio Marañón Hospital: Calle del Dr. Esquerdo, 46, 28007 Madrid | madrid.org
- Hospital Universitario De La Princesa: Calle de Diego Leon, 62, 28006 Madrid | madrid.org
Malaga hospitals, Costa del Sol
- Hospital Quirónsalud Málaga: Av. Imperio Argentina, 1, 29004 Málaga | quironsalud.es
- Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Victoria: Campus de Teatinos, S/N, 29010 Málaga | huvv.es
- Hospital Costa del Sol: Autovia A-7, Km 187, 29603 Marbella | hospitalcostadelsol.com
- Complejo Hospitalario de Salamanca: Paseo de San Vicente, 58, 37007 Salamanca | saludcastillayleon.es
- Hospital General de la Santísima Trinidad: Paseo de Carmelitas, 74-94, 37007 Salamanca | fhgst.es
- Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena: Avenida Doctor Fedriani, 3, 41009 Sevilla | mac-ro.es
- Hospital Virgen del Rocío: Av. Manuel Siurot, s/n, 41013 Sevilla | huvr.es
- Hospital San Juan de Dios: Av. Eduardo Dato, 42, 41005 Sevilla | sjd.es
- Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe: Avinguda de Fernando Abril Martorell, 106, 46026 València | hospital-lafe.com
- Hospital Universitario Doctor Peset: Av. de Gaspar Aguilar, 90, 46017 València | san.gva.es
- Hospital Clínic Universitari de València: Av. de Blasco Ibáñez, 17, 46010 València, Valencia | clinicomalvarrosa.san.gva.es