Andalucía in detail

Health & insurance

For emergency treatment, go straight to the urgencias (casualty) section of the nearest hospital, or call 061 for an ambulance.

Before You Go

Health Insurance

If you’re an EU citizen, or a citizen of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, the free EHIC covers you for most medical care in Spain, including maternity care and care for chronic illnesses such as diabetes (though not for emergency repatriation). However, you will normally have to pay for medicine bought from pharmacies, even if prescribed, and perhaps for some tests and procedures. The EHIC does not cover private medical consultations and treatment in Spain; this includes nearly all dentists, and some of the better clinics and surgeries. For more information on applying for an EHIC from your home country, follow the appropriate link on the European Commission website ( Non-EU citizens should find out if there is a reciprocal arrangement for free medical care between their country and Spain.

In Andalucia

Availability & Cost of Health Care

Good health care is readily available and farmacias (pharmacies) offer valuable advice and sell over-the-counter medication. In Spain, a system of farmacias de guardia (duty pharmacies) operates so that each district has one open all the time. When a pharmacy is closed, it posts the name of the nearest open one on the door.

Tap Water

Tap water is generally safe to drink in Spain, but in the city of Málaga many people prefer to play it safe by drinking bottled water. Do not drink water from rivers or lakes as it may contain harmful bacteria.