Reply To: Spanish State Healthcare

Mark Stücklin

I’m a big fan of both private and public health care in Spain. I use both. We have family private cover, with two kids, but often go to see our GP in the public system because it is so good and closer to home.

I don’t know what it’s like in other parts of Spain but here in Barcelona I usually get an appointment to see our GP within a couple of hours, and hardly have to wait when I go. The doctors in my local surgery are great.

In the private system I also get an appointment straight away, turn up, hand over my insurance card, see the doctor, and that’s it. In the UK I had to pay up front and then reclaim, which was much more of a hassle. I find the Spanish system much more user-friendly, and cheaper.

It helps that I speak Spanish. I don’t know how easy it would be to get medical attention in English, but then again doctors are a well educated bunch, and I guess that many/most of them speak English.

I’ve never had to pay anything for public health attention, and drugs are subsidised if you have a prescription from a public health care doctor. However, I don’t know about specialist care like yours. I’m glad to say that most of the time we go to see the doctor is about a kid’s runny nose.