Specialist appointments in Spain
If you need to see a specialist, you’ll need to see your main doctor first, through the state system. You’ll then be put on a waiting list. If you have private medical insurance you can often go directly to a specialist, instead of going via a doctor. Some people choose this route to avoid the waiting times, which have recently increased due to cuts in public spending.
Spanish prescriptions and medicines
In Spain, many medicines are available over-the-counter, so can be bought without a prescription. This includes some antibiotics – which can save a visit to the doctor or hospital first. Normal opening hours for pharmacies are approximately 9.30am-2pm and 5pm-9.30pm, Monday to Friday, with some in larger towns open 24 hours a day.
There are additional charges for prescriptions and medicines, at either 100% of the cost or 40% of the cost (for EU residents with an EHIC card). The cost can vary significantly, depending on the type of medicine, so it’s good to know that these costs can often be reclaimed through private medical insurance.
Dentists in Spain
Most adult dental treatment is not available through the public system in Spain, so you’ll need to book in at a private clinic. The quality of service is usually high, as the clinics compete with each other to try and provide the best service at the best price - although clinics in city centres are likely to be more expensive than ones in quieter areas. As a new expat, recommendations are a good place to start, but alternatively you can look for a dentist online, using the Consejo Dentista database. This provides a list of dentists who have a certain level of training, and have met the recommended hygiene standards.