The Spanish Healthcare System – Living in Fuerteventura




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.

If you are from the UK and working, so paying into the Spanish system, then you and your family will receive free medical treatment in the Spanish healthcare system.

Anyone who lives in Fuerteventura and is in receipt of a UK state pension can apply for an S1 form from the DHSS. This will enable them to register in Fuerteventura under the Spanish NHS and receive free healthcare. This also applies to any dependents who are not yet in receipt of a UK state pension.

Anyone who wants up to date information on this and any other issues around moving to Fuerteventura should join the Citizens Advice Bureau Spain Facebook group.


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 dependents, 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 Hospital
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 seven 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

Cost of living in Fuerteventura – car and house costs and food and supermarkets

35 responses to “The Spanish Healthcare System – Living in Fuerteventura”

  1. Annette Duplain avatar
    Annette Duplain

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

    1. admin avatar

      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.

      1. elizabeth chadderton avatar
        elizabeth chadderton

        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

        1. admin avatar

          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. Paul West avatar
    Paul West

    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

    1. admin avatar

      £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.

      1. Paul West avatar
        Paul West

        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

      2. William avatar

        Sorry to be a bit late to the programme but do you have any links or information regarding private medical insurance. I am coming over to try and set up my TIE card on the 10th November and have a meeting set up with the council to start the paperwork.

        1. JP in Fuerteventura avatar
          JP in Fuerteventura

          Jock, I am really sorry but I didn’t seem to get a notification for this message. I will drop you an email.

  3. Myranna avatar

    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.

    1. admin avatar

      Reply sent

    2. Sharon Partis avatar
      Sharon Partis

      Hi JP

      Any chance you can send me the info too. Sorry for hijacking also but this info I would be entirely grateful for.


      1. admin avatar

        Copy sent Sharon

        1. Susan maxwell avatar
          Susan maxwell

          Hi JP ..I posted a comment but it’s disappeared? We are moving Feb 2019 and I’m doing pretty planning now (63 and60) could I trouble you for the link also if possible. Kind regards Susan and Graham

          1. admin avatar

            I have to approve comments before they appear (otherwise the comments get full of spam and junk Susan). I will send you the info by email.

  4. Susan maxwell avatar
    Susan maxwell

    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. Jayne Bell avatar
    Jayne Bell

    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?

    1. admin avatar

      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. Philip Parry avatar

    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

    1. admin avatar

      I will answer you by email Phil

  7. Jacqueline Roth avatar
    Jacqueline Roth

    Hi id also be interested in info regarding health insurance please x

    1. admin avatar

      I will drop you an email

  8. Hazel avatar

    Could I have info re private medical insurance please?

  9. jessica avatar

    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

  10. Seb Barre avatar
    Seb Barre

    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?

    1. admin avatar

      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.

    2. Rita avatar

      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.

      1. admin avatar

        Good idea about keeping details on your phone in Spanish Rita. I guess any medical conditions would be good too.

  11. James gambrill avatar
    James gambrill

    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

    1. admin avatar

      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.

  12. Lisa Harris avatar
    Lisa Harris

    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

    1. admin avatar

      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.

  13. Pauline Strachan avatar
    Pauline Strachan

    Hi JP.

    We are starting process of applying for nlv and will move from uk around june/July.
    Do you know how we can use for health insurance?
    We also need a Spanish address but won’t be buying until end of 2021. Any idea how to get round this

  14. Becca/Conor avatar

    My other half has been seen by triage, but now is waiting on the doctor, can I ask how long the wait roughly on a Week day, he suffers with non epileptic seizures and sometimes pain from other problems can trigger them,

    (He had to get ear drops to clear his ears but now for the last 3 days has been feeling like he can’t hear anything, this was due to being in our pool at our hotel and as times gone on he’s explained the pain just keeps getting worse.)

    We’re both just a bit worried as we still have 5 days left of our holiday and then when it comes to going home on the plane and pressure will be really sore for him.

    1. JP in Fuerteventura avatar
      JP in Fuerteventura

      I assume you are at the hospital in Puerto del Rosario? We have always found the hospital quite good (better than in the UK) although we haven’t had to use it very often. I really can’t say how long you may have to wait as it depends on what else they amy have to deal wuth and the urgency of those waiting. The alternative, assuming youu have travel insurance, is to see a doctor privately (which isn’t too expensive anyway). Good luck.

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