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Can I be refused medical care in Spain if I’m not a resident and have no health card?

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According to the Spanish Ministry of Health, all people are guaranteed basic health care in Spain, even if they do not meet the legal requirements to obtain a SIP Card.

If the patient is under 18, they will be entitled to the same attention as any Spanish citizen. Assistance in pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum is also fully guaranteed. Thus, even if they are non-residents and have no European health card, an underage child or a pregnant woman should always receive health assistance in Spain.

On the other hand, all Spaniards and foreigners with legal residence in Spain are entitled to a SIP card, which guarantees free health care. But even those who are not entitled to the card will be attended in case of emergencies due to illness or accident.

If your local health center or public hospital refuses to treat you in any of these cases (underage child, pregnant woman, or emergency), you can make a formal complaint in writing by asking for the “Hojas de Reclamaciones”.

How much do I have to pay for my medicines?

  • If you are a pensioner with a non-contributory pension or have a minimum income, you will not have to pay anything for your medicines.
  • If you earn less than 18,000 euros per year, you will pay 10 percent of the price of medicines, with a maximum of 8 euros per month.
  • If you earn more than 18,000 euros per year, the maximum will be 18 euros per month.
  • Only pensioners with an income of over 100,000 euros per year will pay 60 percent of the medicines, with a limit of 60 euros per month.
  • If you are working and you have an annual income of less than 18,000 euros, you will have to pay for 40% of your medication.
  • If your income exceeds 18,000 euros but is less than 100,000 euros, you will pay for 50% of your medications.
  • If you earn more than 100,000 euros a year, you will pay 60% of your medicines.
  • If you are unemployed you will no longer have to pay any the drugs.

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