Health care in Spain. The Spanish health-care system is regarded as better than in the UK. Hospitals are modern and well-equipped and are excellent. There are a few differences between the British National Health system and the Spanish Health system, but as far as ex-pats go they are very similar. The biggest difference is the level of nursing care available in Spain. Spanish nurses are very well medically trained and experienced but many of the duties carried out routinely by British nurses in respect of personal care and feeding are carried out by the patient’s family instead. All hospitals allow one person to be with the patient 24 hours a day which is very different to the UK system. Visiting times vary for other visitors but they are still encouraged.
If you are planning to live in Spain then do remember that medical staff do not always speak English, although if you have chosen a good park to live they will ensure that you have an Interpreter. That is all part of the lifestyle on the parks.
Before moving to Spain, you should make sure you apply for the new European Health Insurance card (EHIC).
A EHIC will cover you for emergency healthcare treatment in Spain. It is really for tourists, but will ensure that you do not end up having to pay for treatment during your first few weeks or months in Spain. If you are retired it is simply a matter through the office on the park to arrange registering you with the local medical centre. Health care is free for pensioners.
If you ask anyone who has had a major operation in Spain if they would have rather had the operation in the UK the answer is always the same “I would still be waiting for the operation in the UK”. That is a fact these days, many a patient after being diagnosed with a heart complaint for example has the operation to correct things within a week in most cases.
Living in Spain is not all about having access to some great health care services. It is also about looking after yourself. A much more relaxed way of life coupled with a great Mediterranean diet. Fresh fruit and veg is to be found in the weekly markets at a much lower cost than in the UK.
For eating out the Spanish also love fish which is very good for you. The Spanish doctors encourage everyone to take care of themselves. Yes you need to be able to use the health service but how much you use them will be influenced by the better weather and calmer lifestyle. For those who have arthritis the warmer weather gives benefit straight away. Eating olives and taking olive oil on salads also helps.