THE BASQUE HEALTH SYSTEM
The Basque Country has a comprehensive health infrastructure which meets the needs of its citizens through the Basque Health Service-Osakidetza, run by the Basque Government, and through private health centres.
Foreigners working in the Basque Country and paying Social Security contributions will receive a Social Security Card showing their personal details and social security number. With the social security card they can apply for an individual health card in the health centre closest to their home. This allows them to obtain free treatment, both medical and hospital, for the card holder and their family.
2. Public Health Care
Individual health card
The Individual Heath Card is the necessary and sufficient documentation required to gain access to the health services provided by the Department of Health.
To obtain an Individual Health Card the applicant must be registered in a municipality of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country.
Applications for Health Cards are dealt with by the Customer Attention Areas of the Osakidetza-Basque Health Service Centres.
The application documentation must be accompanied by the following documents:
- Copy of the identification document of the applicant (National ID Card (DNI), family book, passport or similar).
- A certificate or note showing registration in a municipality in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country.
- Document acknowledging the Right to Health Care, issued by the INSS
- A Health Card from the Community of origin, if it is due to a change of address.
3. Private Health Care
Those wishing to receive private healthcare can take out health insurance in their country of origin which covers Spain or use any private medical company established in the Basque Country.
The following is a short list of the main companies:
Medicines are only available from chemists. In general, customers must provide a medical prescription issued by a doctor.
On the website of the Pharmaceutical Colleges of the three territories we can find practical information about chemists and duty chemists:
A health emergency is an extremely serious situation in which the life of the patient is at risk.
In the event of a health emergency, with imminent danger to life, please call 112.
6. Urgent treatment
An urgent health situation is one in which the patient requires attention as quickly as possible, but at the moment there is no danger to his or her life.
In the event of an urgent health situation, please call the number for urgent situations shown on your Health Card (TIS).