Spanish medical professionals deliver a high standard of care in the public sector, so it is not necessary to pay for private care. Medical practices in Spain are split into two subsections. There are small practices with one or two doctors, the advantages of which are being able to see the same doctor and develop a rapport with him or her. However, because appointments are not necessarily required, you may have a long wait when the waiting room is full. The second are Heath Centers with numerous doctors that offer an efficient service. However, you may not see the same doctor every time you visit.
It is necessary to register with a doctor or clinic before you make an appointment, therefore it is advised that you register with a clinic as soon as possible. To register, simply take your medical card and a picture ID to your neighborhood clinic so that they can open a patient file. If you require medical attention and you have not registered with a clinic, it is perfectly acceptable to go and receive treatment at a local hospital.
As declared in the patient’s rights and obligations handbook, you are allowed to pick your own doctor, regardless of your place of residence, and change practices at any time if you are unhappy with your treatment. Some doctors’ practices do house calls, but this depends on each individual practice; consequently you should check when you are registering.
Spanish hospitals are known for offering a good level of treatment, as well as a fairly rapid service. Madrid has many hospitals in its municipal area, including a children’s hospital, where all the services are free apart from prescriptions.