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Using the Spanish Health System

bigstock-Closeup-portrait-of-a-woman-ho-95914568If you’re living on the Costa del Sol, then you will need access to medical care. Although it’s a very healthy place to live, and life expectancies are long, you need to feel protected should you, or your family fall ill.

The Spanish National Health system is generally very good, with excellent reputation for specialists and we’re lucky to have a wonderful hospital on the Costa del Sol. There are many local health centres which you can join depending on where you live.

You need to get a NIE number and a social security number, then register on the padron in your local Town Hall. This “padron” shows officially where you live and enables you to register for both schools and your local doctor’s surgery.

As long as you, or one member of your family is working and paying their Social Security payments you are all entitled to healthcare. If you aren’t both working, then one of you needs to be a “beneficiario” on the other’s card. Some Doctor’s surgeries will allow you to register as a dependent in the surgery itself, others will ask you to go to your nearest social security office to do it. Here is an excellent guide to getting healthcare in Spain which goes into much more details about the different ways to register and the ins and outs of the system.

Once you’re registered you can make an appointment in person at the surgery, but we recommend using the website of Salud Responde  which allows you to do loads of things from home including making an appointment, choosing a doctor, changing contact details and downloading forms. There is also a mobile phone App of the same name, which enables people to book appointments with their doctors and health centres, which has seen a lot of traffic in 2015, as more people use mobile devices.

The main problem for foreigners is ensuring their level of Spanish is up to visiting the doctor, as it can be tough to explain what’s wrong and understand complicated diagnosis or instructions on what to do. Some doctor’s surgeries in the most popular expat areas and the Costa del Sol hospital have volunteer translators on hand to help you, but it’s best to be prepared to speak Spanish if you can.

There are lots of ways that you can learn Spanish. One great resource is Notes in Spanish, where they do regular audio recordings about different topics to help you hear the vocabulary and be able to pronounce it properly as well as understand it in a spoken setting. They have a podcast all about illnesses and doctors with both phrases and vocabulary that will help you to deal with visiting the doctor.

If this is too daunting for you, then there are loads of options for private health cover including the biggest players such as Sanitas (like Bupa). Shop around, as prices vary hugely and it depends on what you need as to which service is right for you.

One popular option here on the Costa del Sol is Helicopteros Sanitarios, which is a middle option as it is a home doctor’s service, where they will come to your home to treat you, as well as having some clinics where you can pop in for an appointment. They also have ambulances and helicopters which can take you to a national health hospital quickly, treat you on the way and help you on arrival to the hospital, briefing the doctors before handing you over to their care. In an area with few ambulances and big distances between hospitals this can be a good option and is a lot cheaper than the more comprehensive health insurances.

For more information on living on the Costa del Sol, the benefits of renting long term here, or advice on where to live please browse our site. We’re here to help you find the best long term rental property and make yourself at home here, so please don’t hesitate to ask.

Why Living in Spain is Good For You

Why Living in Spain is Good For YouAt HomeRentalontheWeb we are all passionate about living on the Costa del Sol and love the lifestyle it offers us and our families, which is why we’re so committed to helping people find the perfect long term rental property to make their dreams a reality.

You will find that living on the Costa del Sol definitely puts a spring in your step and makes you feel fit and healthy, and if something does go wrong there’s an excellent health service at your disposal.

Here are our reasons for thinking a Spanish lifestyle is good for our minds, bodies and souls


  • You’re never SAD – Excuse the play on words here, of course you can feel down wherever in the world you are, but there’s no doubt that the sunshine that we enjoy here for an average of 300 days per year definitely lifts the spirits, gives us much needed vitamin D and cures anyone who gets the winter blues
  • It’s a healthy place – Spain has one of the top seven most efficient healthcare systems in Europe and people live longer – Spain is ranked 15 in the world for life expectancy (compared to 30 for the UK.) With the well-known health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, you’ll feel and look great for longer. Find out more about the Spanish Health Care system and accessing healthcare in Spain
  • You’re more active – Due to the lovely weather you’re outside more and there’s a culture of doing sports and keeping fit, plus excellent facilities to make it easy and great fun to get involved in everything from golf, to padel tennis, to swimming, kite surfing or paddle boarding.
  • You’re more relaxed – The atmosphere on the Costa del Sol is so much more relaxed and laid-back than other parts of the world and even after a stressful day, a stroll down the beach, a dip in the pool or a trip to the park in the sunshine will make the stress melt away. Stress is one of the biggest causes of illness, so this alone should keep you healthier and happier.
  • There’s a great sense of community – Although relocating to the Costa del Sol means leaving loved ones back at home, all the expats are in the same boat and this leads to an excellent community spirit where even people you hardly know will go out of their way to help. You will find that friends become like family and the bonds are incredibly strong and let’s be honest, home is where the heart is!

If you’re thinking about relocating to the Costa del Sol and want to enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle, we can help you find a great long term rental property, as well as offering advice on where to live, the best schools, job opportunities and more. Renting long term allows you to try before you buy, so you can check out the options and really understand the area and how you want to live here. Please contact us to find out more and find that perfect property for you.

Retiring to Spain and Healthcare

early retirementSpain is a brilliant place to choose for a more relaxed retirement. There’s a great climate, positive attitude to the elderly and lots of opportunities to stay active and healthy on the golf courses and as part of the many clubs and societies.

Things to be aware of for a great retirement on the Costa del Sol:

  • The fluctuating exchange rate can affect pensioners for good and bad so factor this in when working out your funds – there are some exchange companies which offer the option to peg the transfers to a particular exchange rate, so shop around for the best option for you
  • If you’re retiring early, be aware of the change to the residual S1 payments which formally entitled those retiring early up to 30 months of UK funded healthcare; however now those under 65 will need to get private medical cover. There are lots of good healthcare options in Spain and they are reasonably priced so don’t worry and after the age of 65 the S1 forms will still be issued
  • Think of the future – When choosing a home and location, think ahead on what will suit you a few years down the line as well as right now, especially if you’re buying. Alternatively, stay flexible and rent long term on the Costa del Sol so you can chop and change as you grow older. This allows you to live the dream now (whatever that might be) and then make the move to a more accessible one story villa or apartment for example when getting around isn’t so easy and your priorities change.
  • Avoid loneliness by being active and getting involved – It can be hard to start a new life at a later stage and it can get lonely if you don’t make an effort. Make connections online before you arrive via Facebook groups, websites and expat forums and you can get to know people before you arrive. Then join some clubs, start language lessons, join your local golf course and pop to your local bar to start to get to know people so you don’t feel lonely. This really makes a difference as whether you can make retirement in Spain work for you.

We have loads more useful information on relocating to Spain on our website. HomeRentalontheWeb can help you to find a great long term rental property to allow you to enjoy your retirement on the Costa del Sol to the full. Plus we can advise you on the best areas for certain interests, public transport, hospitals etc. Please feel free to give us a call on 0034 952 83 95 95 or email to find out more.

Looking after your health in Spain

When renting long term on the Costa del Sol, it is important that your family’s health is taken care of. Falling ill can result in hefty medical bills if you do not have the correct healthcare cover.

Language can be a barrier when it comes to medical issues, putting people off going to visit the doctor. Whilst the Spanish health system is very good, if you have just moved to Spain, or are in the process of moving, you will be unable to use the health system until you have your NIE number, secured work within the country and are paying social security contributions.

The European Health card (EHIC) is only for UK residents who are in Spain temporarily on holiday, entitling them to free medical treatment. However, once you become a resident in Spain you may lose the right to free NHS treatment and so returning to the UK for treatment may no longer be an option.

There are however, many private healthcare options available with companies offering a bilingual service and helping to handle discussions with healthcare providers on your behalf. Two of the most popular companies in Spain are Bupa International, the largest health insurer for expatriates and Sanitas, Spain’s premier private medical insurance provider. Both offer great deals aimed at the needs of expatriates regardless of where in the world you live and often services are transferrable from country to country.

At the moment Sanitas are offering a special rate of € 23.28 per month, covering dental treatment, visits to the doctor and emergency medical attention, up to €10,000. It is worth checking out their website for a quote, it could save you a fortune in the long run and it is always better to be safe.  For more information log on to .

If you are thinking of moving to the Costa del Sol, view our range of properties available for long term rental on our website or contact us on 952 83 95 95.

Doctor strikes on the Costa del Sol

A recent article in the Euro Weekly News informed us that from this week, doctors in Andalucia will be holding various strikes at healthcare centres in the area.

The 24 strikes will be called randomly at a different health care centres everyday in order not to disrupt hospitalised patients, so if you have an upcoming appointment we suggest you check with your clinic before you leave.

When renting long term on the Costa del Sol it’s a good idea to register with a doctor when you arrive. If you are working here and paying social security contributions you and your family are entitled to free, high quality medical care so it’s definitely worth making it a priority after the move.

In order to register with a doctor in Spain you need to be registered on the padron first to prove your address and residential status. Signing up to the padron is free and simple and you can read more about the benefits and how to register in our previous blog.

You can find lots more information about looking after your health in Spain and a range of other interesting topics on our blog. Just use the search box if there is a particular subject you are looking for.

Looking after your health in Spain

When relocating to Spain, most people think of all the benefits such as great weather and a better lifestyle, we don’t like to think about bad health when moving to the Costa del Sol. However, if you rent long term in Spain or are planning to, it’s important to know what’s what when it comes to healthcare. Continue reading “Looking after your health in Spain”