Public Healthcare in Barcelona

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When you move abroad, healthcare is an aspect that needs to be taken care of quickly. If you decide to move to Barcelona, then you’re lucky, because in Spain they have one of the best healthcare system of the world! Spain offers excellent private healthcare but also has an excellent public healthcare, being that in both cases there are many affordable options. So don’t worry if you have any healthcare issue in Barcelona, you are safe.

Spanish public healthcare works in a contributive way: you have to pay the social security system tax, or at least your relatives need to, in order to be able to get access to it. Each region manages its local healthcare system and in the case of Catalonia, the name is CatSalut. So how can you access it? It’s really simple:

There are two main ways. First option, by being a Spanish resident or by paying social security contributions, either through employment or as a freelancer. Second option, by being a children, a pensioner, a pregnant women or receivers of certain state benefits such as being under 26, staying temporarily in Spain or having an EHIC* card.

If you are currently working in Spain, it is not difficult to get this benefit. You just need the Healthcare Card, which is personal and non-transferable. To get it, it’s necessary to fill out the form TA1  and to take it to the Social Security office, along with your passport/NIE and your residency certificate, as well as your employment contract.

However, if you don’t have the right to public healthcare, you can always get private healthcare. If you have been registered on the padrón for more than a year, then the Spanish government has a state insurance plan with a basic monthly fee, which will be administered by the authorities in each region. In the case of having an EHIC card issued by an EU-Member and you are in Spain temporarily or studying as a part of a course based in your home country, you have access to Spanish healthcare unless you go specifically to Spain to get medical treatment or to give birth.

You also have to take into consideration that Spain has bi-lateral agreements with some countries such as Andorra, Australia, EEUU or Russia, which allow citizens from these countries visiting Spain for short periods to obtain free emergency medical treatment.

As a piece of advice, if you don’t know where to go or you need an ambulance, you can call “061”, available 24/7, 365 days/year or go by yourself to the urgencies place:

  • Hospital Clínic I Provincial Barcelona

Carrer de Villarroel 170


  • Urgències Sant Joan de Deu

Carrer de Numància 9

Healtchare Barcelona


  • Urgencias Clínica Creu Blanca

Av. de Josep Vicenç Foix 71


  • Hospital dos de Maig

Carrer del Dos de Maig 301


  • Hospital del Mar

Passeig Marítim 25-29

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