Health care and alternative therapies
If you fall ill in Barcelona you are in good hands. The city has some of the best doctors, specialists and surgeons in Spain and the Spanish health service has greatly improved in the last couple of decades and is now well up to the standards of its European neighbours. In terms of public health care, the University Hospital, the Clínico (or Clìnic in Catalan) on Carrer Casanova in the Eixample is a centre of excellence, dealing with both accident and emergency and specialist treatment.
Whether you’re just visiting or have taken up residence in Barelona, public health services will be able to provide the care you need, but if you do not have an NIE or residence permit you will need to make sure you have travel insurance or a European health card (make sure it is up to date) to avoid expensive charges. For longer-term care and specialist treatment, waiting times are now getting longer as the economic crisis has led to cutbacks which have meant the closure of a number of hospital wards and operating theatres.
For those who can afford it, there is a plethora of health schemes available, both with international providers such as BUPA (Sanitas in Spain) and Spanish companies including Mutuas, medical collectives with their own hospitals and private insurance – if you have an account with a Spanish bank they may well offer a policy. The cost is relatively low compared to other countries and usually pretty comprehensive, covering most eventualities, including dental work.
Barcelona, probably more than even other parts of Spain, is highly medicalised (as you will have noticed from the number of pharmacies around the city) and the likelihood is that if you go for treatment you will end up being prescribed one or various medications. If you’re not inclined to being stuffed full of questionable drugs, there are many alternative treatments available.
Barcelona is well provided with all kinds of alternatives to conventional medical treatments, from acupuncture to chiropractors and practitioners of all types of therapies, massages, quantum electro-diagnosis and balancing and holistic care. One holistic centre is the Matterhorn clinic where consultations are available in English and French, as well as Catalan and Spanish, for all types of treatment.
Keep checking in to this page for more updates and recommendations.