Barcelona Healthcare

Health advice, doctors and medical centres for foreigners

By Duncan Rhodes Barcelona Life

Health advice for both travellers and expats, including a list of medical centres with English speaking doctors and practitioners.

Spain, and in particular Catalonia, holds an enviable reputation for the quality of its public and private healthcare, and in fact many countries, the UK included, has recruited Spanish doctors and nurses on a large scale to fill vacancies in their own health systems. Unfortunately, these times of crisis and cutbacks in public spending, are putting a strain on Spain / Catalonia’s public healthcare and it’s more important than ever to know and consider all your options.

Obviously whether you’re here as a tourist, or for the medium to long term will determine what advice and precautions and – in the event of needing medical attention – what steps you will need to take to access it. On this page we’ll try to give some basic information to some often complex questions, as well provide some handy names, addresses, websites and contact details.

Health Advice for Travellers

The most important piece of advice for any European traveller coming to Spain is to apply for their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if they haven’t already. It entitles the holder to free healthcare in 32 European countries (or same cost as healthcare in holder’s nation) and is also free to obtain. UK residents can find out more about applying for the EHIC here (you can both apply and renew online), whilst those from other nations can find out how to apply for their card on the European Commission’s website, on this page.

In case of needing treatment you will need to be able to produce a valid card (in other words check the expiry date of your card before you travel!) and your passport.

The prudent traveller may also want to take our travel insurance, as this usually also covers repatriation flights and private medical expenses (although do check the individual policy of the insurer in question and whether they cover the entire costs or there is a waiver), not to mention the fact that travel insurance also covers lost luggage, stolen goods (a common danger in Barcelona) and other eventualities.

For American, Australian and other non-Eu travellers, insurance is a must, as although you will be treated in the case of an emergency you will also be asked to pay your medical bills.

In the case of an emergency you should call 112 for an ambulance. This number is free of charge, and the Spanish word for A&E department is “urgencias”. For minor problems you could take advantage of the Catalonia’s excellent farmàcias (pharmacies), where the men and women in white coats often have some advice, not to mention plenty of pills and remedies (many of which aren’t available in the UK without a prescription!) to sort out your ails.

Finally you’ll be playing a bit of lingo lottery if you don’t speak Spanish (or Catalan), so we’ve tried to come up with some private practitioners who speak English… see further down the page.

Health Advice for Expats

The picture for expats is a fair bit more complicated, but essentially if you are gainfully employed, or registered in Spain as self-employed (“autonomo”), then you will be paying social security that in turn entitles you to free healthcare. However you may have to apply for your Tarjeta Sanitaria (health card) in order to see a doctor at a public clinic / hospital. The best resource we can find for now is the Spanish version of the health section of the Generalitat de Catalunya’s website (the English version seems like a work in process!) for more on how to register.

Medical Centres & Practitioners

In Barcelona Life’s Services section we’ve listed several useful contact names and addresses of various healthcare providers, and you can start your search there, or check this list of some professional service providers.

General Health

Turo Park Medical Centre

A godsend for anglophonic expats and travellers alike, at The Turo Park Medical Clinic you can book an appointment with English-speaking doctors in virtually every field of medicine, including family medicine, gynaecology, paediatrics, dentistry, orthodontics, dermatology, otolaryngology, cardiology, infectious diseases and travel medicine, speech therapy, physiotherapy, as well as aesthetic medicine and cosmetic surgery. They can also perform blood tests, electrocardiograms and other analyses, such as biorhythm analysis, if you’re suffering from a sleep disorder, and services such as laser treatments for removal of skin blemishes and scar reduction. The clinic is modern and professional and as well as emailing or calling their multi-lingual receptionists you can also book an appointment online. For more info check out their website.

Googol Medical Centre

A very useful address if your Spanish isn’t up to much, Dr. Steven Joseph is an English speaking doctor with his own private clinic here in Barcelona, in the Les Corts district (near Camp Nou stadium). He offers general practice and mental health services as well as specialist

Eye Care


Established by two leading ophthalmologists, with international experience, the team of specialists at Visioncore offer their services in the fields of cornea and ocular surface, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, refractive surgery, retina and pediatric ophthalmology.


Physiotherapy Barcelona

If you’re anything like the Barcelona Life team then you spend way too long in front of a computer everyday, before taking some time off work to look at your computer some more. None of which is very good for your back, neck and shoulders. The good news for the digital generation is that the Dutch / German team (who speak perfect English) at this clinic can treat back conditions with a mix of physiotherapy and manual therapy (and dry needling on request), as well as any number of conditions derived from sports injuries, work related injuries, pregnancy related issues or post surgery rehabilitation.


Imma Sarries Zgonc

Imma Sarries Zgonc in an independent midwife who offers private homebirth services and support through all the stages of pregnancy (and the early stages of infancy). She speaks English, German, French, Spanish and Catalan.

Sexual Health

Anti-AIDS Clinic

For rapid HIV testing make an appointment at this clinic in Raval.


  • Avatar


    Turo Park Medical seems to have all ‘professions allied to medicine’ [physio, salt etc] but no Occupational Therapist. Would anyone know if OT exists in Spain as I am looking to relocate to Barcelona, any help would be gratefully accepted.

  • Avatar


    This was a good article. What do people do that are considering retiring in Barcelona, not going there to work, and still need healthcare from a doctor where they can set appointments with reasonable time frames, because of a pre-existing condition? Are medicines in this situation difficult to come by? Though I’m several years away, it is a strong consideration to retire in Barcelona, but I haven’t researched enough about how difficult it is yet to maintain my US citizenship and still be a resident in Spain while obtaining the healthcare and corresponding medicine I need. So much research to do, but I still have lots of time :-).

  • Avatar

    Alina Woods

    Hi Concerned,
    The purpose of this letter is to formally invite you to attend our upcoming conference Fifteenth International Conference on Healthcare happening in Barcelona, Spain during May 27-29, 2019.
    We are expecting more than 300 attendees representing from more than 40 countries who would be sharing their experiences and expertise around the theme Revolutionizing Technologies to Enhance the Current Health and Primary Care Systems.

    We are providing a pleased waiver to groups on registrations and packages.

    Conference Benefits
    CME Credits
    CNE Credits
    CPD Credits
    Research publication in proceeding book
    Abstract publication in associated online journal
    DOI by Crossref
    Online speaker webpage
    Workshops and Symposium
    Certificate for participation and attendance
    Young Researchers Forum and Posters Award for Students
    B2b and Networking meetings

    For more details please visit this link:

    Let me know if you are interested and I would be happy to send you more details on this.

    Thank you

    Warm Regards,
    Alina Woods
    Program Director | Healthcare 2019
    Ph: +44-2033182512 | Whatsapp: +44 2382146717

  • Avatar

    Murray Ford

    Hi,..Can you tell me please, I’m told that it is possible in Spain, to get some health tests done through the leading, high st. chemists. Is that the case? I’m willing to pay to have the test done privately….Can you suggest a Clinic/Lab etc?

  • Avatar

    Julia Thomas

    Dear Team,
    Greetings from Cardiology Congress-2019
    The purpose of this letter is to solicit you and your entire Team/Group’s gracious presence at the upcoming World Congress on Cardiology and Cardiovascular diseases on September 23-24, 2019 which is going to be held at Barcelona, Spain.
    For Details Please visit:
    Julia Thomas
    Cardiology Congress-2019

  • Avatar

    Qamar shahzad

    Sex problems


Stay in touch

Love Barcelona? Subscribe to our newsletter and we'll share our latest stories, events you shouldn't miss, deals, discounts and much more! It's free.

We also share stories and events on Facebook.