The public health system in Spain often ranks among the world’s best.
Known for its universality, it provides free-at-the-point-of-use healthcare (for most services) to all residents, regardless of their income level or employment status.
Funded through taxes and social security contributions, the system offers comprehensive coverage, including primary care, specialist services, hospital care and prescription drugs.
Health centres and hospitals in Malaga
Overall, Spain boasts an extensive network of hospitals and medical centres, with Malaga city served by four major hospitals:
- Hospital Civil
- Hospital Materno-Infantil (children’s and maternity hospital)
- Hospital Regional Universitario de Malaga (with accident and emergency department)
- Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Victoria (with accident and emergency department)
For day-to-day medical needs, every neighbourhood in Malaga has its own health centre (or centro de salud), open from Monday to Friday.
You can find your local one here.
Who is eligible for free health care in Spain?
If you need to see a doctor in Spain, there are many ways that you can be eligible for free health care via the public health system.
If you’re employed and making contributions to the Spanish social security system, you gain automatic access to public healthcare services through your contributions.
Likewise, if you’re from an EU country and temporarily residing in Spain, obtaining an E-101 card (or EHIC) from your home country grants you access to medical care free of charge.
For those who aren’t eligible, private medical insurance is widely available in Spain and can cost between 30 and 130 euros per month, depending on age and pre-existing medical conditions.
How do you sign up with a doctor in Malaga?
If you’re a resident in Spain and want to sign up with the Andalusian Health Service (SAS) to be assigned a family doctor, be able to be prescribed medication and referred to specialists, this is quite a straightforward process.
To do so, the easiest way is to go to the local health centre that corresponds to your address. (If you live in the historic centre, it is most likely that your affiliated centre is the one in the port on Avenida de Manuel Agustín Heredia. It’s located within walking distance of the Muelle Heredia bus station.)
If this is your first time signing up with a doctor in Spain, you need to bring your NIE and social security number with you. Then, after carrying out some checks, staff can issue you a health card number at reception.
The card itself (which has a microchip and is used to collect prescriptions) will arrive in the post within four weeks. In the meantime, your number alone will suffice.
You can use the number to make (or alter and cancel) doctor’s appointments on the online portal.
The Malaga Guru team comprises individuals of diverse ages and backgrounds who share a common bond – a deep affection for the city of Malaga, its rich culture, and its warm-hearted inhabitants!