Home Healthcare Healthcare Services Going to the hospital in Spain
Last update on September 10, 2021

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 as well as private hospitals in Spain (or el hospital, hospital in Spanish with a silent ‘h’).

COVID-19 in Spain

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone. Many expats find themselves separated from family and loved ones in their home countries. As a foreigner, it is also sometimes difficult to find critical information regarding coronavirus infection rates, local measures and restrictions, and now, thankfully, vaccinations.

  • For general coronavirus health information in Spain, including vaccination schedules and locations, visit the Ministerio de Sanidad’s COVID-19 online resource center
  • For the latest COVID-19 measures, rules, and restrictions where you live, you may also need to visit the website of your local autonomous region

Health centers and hospitals in Spain

To qualify for free services in health centers and Spanish hospitals, you must either be registered with the state healthcare system, have private healthcare insurance in Spain, hold a European Health Insurance Card, or be a national from a country with a bilateral 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. You can also read 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.

An operating room in a Barcelona hospital

After registering with Spanish healthcare, you must pick a Spanish 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 subsidized 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 centers (centros de salud) offering both private (privado) and state healthcare services (asistencia sanitaria pública). You can find even more Spanish healthcare terms in our Spanish medical dictionary.

Before going to the hospital in Spain, 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. Private hospitals in Spain, however, do not accept the EHIC.

Doctors in Spain typically provide patients with an outline of their services in the Carta de Derechos y Deberes or Charter of Rights and Obligations. It’s best to do prior research instead of being surprised with substantial medical fees.

Public and private hospitals in Spain are among the best in the world, but there can be long waits to visit specialists and non-emergency operations under the state system. Patients seeking to see a specialist through the state system must have a referral from their doctor, however; in general, those with private health insurance may visit a specialist directly. Some private health insurance companies also have lists of approved private hospitals, doctors, and specialists clients choose from.

Some doctors in Spanish hospitals in larger cities and popular tourist destinations speak excellent English, while nurses and other staff won’t always be. There are typically more English-speaking doctors in private hospitals in Spain but state-run hospitals also have English-speaking doctors or translators.

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.

  • All emergencies: dial 112
  • Ambulance: dial 112 or 061
  • Police: dial 092
  • Fire brigade: dial 112 or 080
  • See also a complete list of Spanish emergency numbers.

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 health 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 best hospitals in Spain as well as El Mundo‘s interactive graphic on the main hospitals in Spain. However, these websites are in Spanish only.

Alicante hospitals

  • 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
  • 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

Barcelona hospitals

  • 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

Granada hospitals

  • Hospital San Rafael: San Juan de Dios, 19, 18001 Granada | sjdgranada.es
  • 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

Madrid hospitals

  • 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
  • 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

Salamanca hospitals

  • 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

Seville hospitals

  • 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

Valencia hospitals

  • 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
  • Clínic Universitari de València: Av. de Blasco Ibáñez, 17, 46010 València, Valencia | clinicomalvarrosa.san.gva.es

Healthcare websites in Spain