Can anyone outline for me what you get, as a resident, under the state health service, and what you don’t get? Maybe a url? In the UK most people would not loose too much sleep if they could not afford private healthcare, it is a tradition for most to go NHS. Is the same true in Spain, or is the Spanish system really a safety-net for those who cannot pay, as is the case in the USA?
I can’t give you a comparitive analysis but I have used both the British NHS and the Spanish NHS for more than 15 years. While my family and I have not had any major health problems, we have had the usual crop of emergencies and routine GP visits.
My verdict is that both systems seem to offer a similar level of care and if I had to choose one over the other I would choose the Spanish.
If you live outside Valencia you aren’t entitled to free state health care unless you’re retired (or are a retiree’s partner) or are contributing to the Social Security system (or are a dependant of someone who is) as self-employed or as an employee.
Otherwise it’s take a chance and pay as you go or take out private healthcare.