Healthcare System in Spain

Find out what to expect from the medical system in Spain if you're moving there to live and work or to retire. Understand how to register with the system and what to do in the event of an emergency...

The Spanish healthcare system is funded by social security contributions and combines public and private healthcare.The government sets the overall budget for the country, but each region takes individual responsibility.

To benefit from the Spanish National Healthcare system and medical assistance, residents must enrol with the General Social Security Fund (Dirección General de la Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social - TGSS). This gives access have access to free or low cost healthcare. Provincial social security offices are located throughout the country.

  • For contact information for provincial Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social - TGSS offices: Click here
  • To check healthcare enrolment and entitlement on a person-by-person basis: Click here (in Spanish)
The Healthcare System

Any person legally resident in Spain can benefit from the Spanish social security and healthcare system provided they fall into one of the following categories:

  • Employed workers
  • Self-employed workers
  • Students
  • Workers affiliated with a work co-operative
  • Civil servants or military personnel


Spain's social security system has two levels:

  1. Contributory: The contributory scheme consists of one general and five special schemes, which includes the majority of the working population. Students are covered by a special protection plan.
  2. Non-contributory: The non-contributory level is for people with no or with a very low income. The benefits include medical assistance.

Social Security Number

Any resident, either salaried or self-employed, is issued with a social security number. This entitles a person to healthcare, sickness, unemployment benefits, as well as government pensions. Once a number is obtained, it is valid for life.

Employers request a social security number for an employee if they don't already have one. Self-employed workers may make the application themselves or hire a gestor to complete the process for them.

The application form and required documentation should be presented to a local office (local to the applicant's workplace or home) of the TGSS. Once the application has been submitted, the worker receives a certificate of registration (documento de afiliación) and a registration number.

The following documents must be presented:

  • A form of national identification; a Número Identificatión de Extranjero (NIE) is sufficient
  • Residency certificate or passport
  • The form TA1 (Social Security application form)

If a person loses their job or ceases to work, they must notify the Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social immediately. The worker is liable for contributions until the agency is notified.

Do you have a suggestion to improve this page? click here...

Featured Classified

Transfer Money Abroad The New Way. 10 times cheaper than your bank. Visit TransferWise

Exclusive offer for all AngloINFO subscribers. One free money transfer abroad for first time... Read more...

Do you want to run your own AngloINFO franchise?

Do you dream of having your own, profitable, easy-to-operate business? AngloINFO might be the... Read more...

Business Directory:
Related Categories

Featured Information

Income Tax

Income Tax

Understand the Spanish income tax system and how it affects income for residents and non-residents.



Lost a job, retrenched? Find out how to register for unemployment benefits and start looking for work.


Related Discussions

image description
See more...
Blog for us

Content Sponsor

Direct Telecom

Internet service provider offering low cost calls, line rental and ADSL broadband connections.... Find out more...


If you need to send money overseas Moneycorp, the exchange experts, can help you make your money... Find out more...

Related Discussions

image description
See more...


Emergency Numbers in Canary Islands

Find out vital information on who to call and what to do in an emergency...