The Spanish Healthcare System – Living in Fuerteventura

The Spanish Healthcare System

The Spanish healthcare system is fairly similar to the UK system in that people pay a National Insurance contribution which gives them access to healthcare in Spain. This also applies to obtaining healthcare in the Canary Islands.


New Universal Healthcare Law July 27 2018 FAQS

If you are an expat in Spain then there are a number of options:

1. If you are under State pension age then
a) If you get a job in Spain you will pay NI so you, and your dependants, will be eligible to receive Spanish health care
b) You can opt to pay to join the Spanish health system by paying 65€ a month if under 65 and 149€ if over 65. Spanish healthcare for retirees over 65 or receiving a state pension can join.
c) You can take out private health insurance to get healthcare cover in Spain

2. If you, or your wife/husband, received state pension in your home country then you can register for the Spanish health service

You can use an EHIC card for emergency treatment temporarily.

Spanish Healthcare System
Fuerteventura General Hospital in Puerto del Rosario

Fuerteventura hospital is located in Puerto del Rosario, the capital, and I have to say it is very good. Sue was admitted with Pancreatitis three years ago for 6 days and received very good care. Better than she received in an NHS hospital to be honest.

I have been asked by a number of subscribers to make more videos and posts about living in Fuerteventura. The most requested topic was the healthcare in Fuerteventura so that is what I started with. I will try and do one of these a month – although I don’t enjoy talking to the camera and hate seeing myself too! I actually did this video the previous day – without making any mistakes but when I checked the footage later something went wrong with the audio. Typically I made lots of mistakes when I re-shot it.

Watch the video in Youtube – Please remember to subscribe to see future videos

30 thoughts on “The Spanish Healthcare System – Living in Fuerteventura”

  1. Hi JP
    Could you tell me about dentists and GPs as well, does my EHIC card cover me for costs in Fuerteventura ? Thankyou

    • There are private GPs as well as those based in the Spanish national health centres. Obviously you have to pay the private GPs. There are also plenty of good dentists but these are all private. Your EHIC card only covers you for emergency treatment if you are staying here short-term ie. something serious that needs to be treated at the hospital or emergency clinic. For all minor ailments you would have to pay to see a private GP.

      • i used to have a spanish health card number when i lived in gran canary years ago.i live in fuertrventura now and i am wondering if i can get thisnumber from somewhere so ican register with a foctor here?hope you can

        • I have no idea how you would find this number. I will email you the details of someone here that may be able to help you (at a small cost).

  2. Hi JP,

    My wife and I are looking to retire early and relocate to Fuerteventura in the next few months. I am 59 and my wife is 56. I have read that you have to have lived there for a year before you can start to pay the 60Eur for the convenio especial and in the interim you must have private insurance. I have been quoted £10,000 per annum for this, is that really how much you have to pay? I hope not because that much would scupper my plans. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards

    • £10,000 is ridiculous. We are now 65 (Sue) and 63 (me) and we only pay 2400€ per year for both of us. I will drop you an email.

      • Hi JP,
        Thanks for the quick reply, I thought my plans were in tatters but now I can carry on planning for the move. I look forward to receiving your email.
        Many thanks

  3. Hi JP, thanks for all the wonderful tips on your page and vlogs. Hubby own a house on Fuerte and we want to make a permanent move before the end of the year. Like Paul, we’ve still got a few years before reaching pension age and are also trying to figure out what we need to do in terms of healthcare. Hubby has a pre-existing conditon, so we’re worried about how that will affect health insurance premiums. Apologies for hi-jacking Paul’s post, but could I be cheeky and ask you to please also email me with any advice you have on this.

  4. Your links are so helpful and I would also be grateful to receive this information ..our plans are for Feb 2019 and I’m doing the pre planning now ..very much looking forward to our new life (63 and 60) kind regards Susan and Graham ..

  5. HI JP, my husband and I are hoping to move out in Feb 19, renting for 6 months with a view to buy. We are 55 and 52 respectively, hoping not to work, so need your advise on healthcare options please?

    • In the short term, and before you apply for residencia, you can rely on your EHIC card and pay to visit a private doctor for non-emergency treatment. In order to apply for residencia you will have to show that you have medical cover in place which can either ne through a private insurance company or you can pay into the Spanish system and be covered by that. Feel free to email me to go into this in more depth.

  6. Hi, can you help me and my partner moving to fuerteventura June 2019, we shall both be 51, and will not be working I see we can take out health care insurance at €65 a month is this still possible and who or how do I join /apply , many thanks

  7. Hi JP, we are a family of three that wants to relocate in Fuerte. My partner and i are around 31 years old and my little one is two. We will like to move over there next year, March time.
    I would like to have some information about healthcare and do you know any decent medical insurance companies i can use.
    Could you please send me some information on how to start to paying into the Spanish healthcare system?

    Much appreciated

    Many Thanks

  8. Hey JP my wife and I are planning on going to Fuerteventura this July on holiday but are a little bit worried about the local hospital capability. Our little three year old son has both an egg and peanut allergy and in the unfortunate circumstance that he made need medical help I just wondered how good the General Hospital was. We’ve tried to google its reputation but thought that we would ask for your opinion. We don’t expect a medical assessment just a general review of what you know and how advanced it might be?

    • So far we can only say we are impressed. Sue spent 6 days in there are few years ago after they diagnosed her with Pancreatitis within 30 minutes of arrival. They diagnosed me with kidney stones quickly and within 6 weeks I saw a specialist, had a CT scan and saw the specialist again. A friend was rushed in a week ago and was diagnosed with a heart problem. They flew him to Gran Canaria where he had an operation and is now ok and back home.

    • Hello I have both egg and nut allergies, make sure you tell the cabin crew on the flight. I am sure you do. Anyway, I got shingles whilst there last year and the hospital were very good, they had an interpreter, however I have on my phone details of my allergies in Spanish.

  9. Hi Jp , my wife andI are looking to retire to fuerteventura next year. I will have had a hip repkacement by then. I will be 61. My wife will be 48 but has a pre existing non life threatening condition. For which she has monthly pres ription controlled drug. We know we can buy it in caleta de fuste as we enquired last year. Any advice for health cover pkease

    • Well insurance companies being what they are, I have no doubt you will both be excluded for your past health problems and anything related to them. They don’t like to pay out, only collect premiums, after all. You can still opt to pay into the Spanish system I believe and you would be covered for any past problem then. You really need to approach a number of private health insurance companies to find out what they say.

  10. Hi jp
    Thanks for all the videos there so useful.
    The 65 euros is that per adult or is it the same for children.
    Also if working does every adult in the family have to be working.

    Kind regards Lisa

    • Hi Lisa. The “Universal Healthcare for all” law that came in seems to be throwing a spanner in the works. Different regions can apply it how they wish. It is called Convenio Espacial. There is some info on it here – Each adult has to pay but as far as I am aware all children living in Spain get free healthcare (and dental). If one of you was working and paying into the system then the other should be covered as a dependent. I suggest you join Citizens Advice Bureau Spain on Facebook and search on there.

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