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Hospitals in Spain

Discussion in 'Medical Problems' started by Leslie, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. Leslie

    Leslie Administrator

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    I am one of the few who ended up sampling the Spanish health care system. I was taken at the end of the day to hospital in an ambulance. I though my stomach was about to fall off or explode.

    They were great. I don't speak Spanish and they managed to get everything translated, also with the help of another pilgrim. They discovered that I had two hernias, not much fun I tell you.

    Anyway these doctors were obviously used to pilgrims they did not tell me to go home, just to slow down, take it easy, rest when sore - and then they loaded me with enough pain killers to keep me going for two weeks. Madness to keep going I think now, but I really wanted to finish.

    I had the European Health Insurance Card, it was asked for. I don't know what would have happened if I did not have that.

    I would recommend anyone from outside of the EU have travel insurance.

    The hospitals are good and clean, and friendly - well when I compare to here in Dublin or Glasgow.

    However, if you have the choice of where to get ill - choose Vienna. I returned to Vienna, (I was at Uni there), after I finished that Camino and had an operation to fix my body within two weeks - they are soooo good. And it has never been a problem since.
    :)
     
  2. Priscillian

    Priscillian New Member

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    Blisters: Good Advice from an "Old" Pilgrim

    The "Old Pilgrim" is not me...just yet, and not if I can help it (Old Pilgrims never die but....fill in the blanks!)
    Have posted elsewhere on the subject of wrapping your feet in adhesive bandages. Well worth a look.
    Tracy Saunders
    http:pilgrimagetoheresy.com
     
  3. John Hussey

    John Hussey Super Moderator

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    Spanish Healthcare for Pilgrims

    I found the Spanish health care system to be outstanding. I went far too fast at the beginning of my trek and, lamentably, developed a pesky blister on the sole of my left foot, which I bandaged up and kept walking. At an albergue, before showering, I tried to remove the bandage, it stuck to the skin, I yanked and it bled-a bunch. So, a taxi driver took me to the Sala de Emergencia (emergency room), even though I insisted it was no 'emergency'. There, a young doctor looked at my foot, sent me to the nurse and she not only cleaned and bandaged it but gave me sufficient bandages for the next few days and told me to stay a day or two without walking much. I did so.

    When I left, there was no charge, even though I asked and even though they knew I was not from a European country and therefore not a part of the health care system. Why they chose not to charge, I have no idea, unless it was because they knew I was walking the Camino. Perhaps it was just another demonstration of the exemplary kindness I received from all the Spaniards I met.
     
  4. Snow Moon

    Snow Moon New Member

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    I'd like to join the support for the Spanish healthcare system as my
    step-brother fell on the Spanish side (obviously) of the Pyrennees whilst researching material for a guidebook he was writing in the summer of 2007. He fell a fair distance down the mountain side but was found and airlifted to Zaragoza where he stayed in the excellent care of the doctors and nurses at that hospital including some surgery. At the time he was paralysed from the neck down but later was air ambulanced home to Salisbury spinal unit where he made great progress and last month visited the hospital in Zaragosa and walked in unaided to thank them. I believe they were delighted at his progress. I agree too with Leslie - don't forget your EU card..............
     
  5. Iassak

    Iassak New Member

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    Greetings everyone about the EU health card how would a non European obtain one or is it better to get Insurance from where I am. I always get Insurance but never had to use it..although was told I would have to phone ahead of time to the head office in Canada before I went for medical assistance, which is always not possible. Nevertheless an opinion would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  6. Snow Moon

    Snow Moon New Member

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    Hello Issak,
    I'm British living in Alberta since 2005 with permanent resident status but heading back to live in France later this year. Whenever I travel anywhere I buy travel insurance and when I come to the EU from Canada I buy Canadian travel insurance which has a 24 hour phone number if you need to contact them. I have bought travel insurance when I was still living in the UK for my trips to the USA and Canada. I have worked in the USA and driven from Alberta to Montana and had comprehensive insurance for going to the USA due to the excessive cost of healthcare in America.
    I believe it is essential for travel or else, without it, can cost you thousands if you need medical attention. I also top up my prvincial healthcare if I leave Alberta for another province in Canada.In 2008 my daughter came from the UK to stay with me in Canada and was taken into hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Her UK travel insurance paid everything (ambulance, scan, surgeon, nursing on the ward, medication, dressings, post-discharge appointment) except ?70 excess.
    As for the EU health card, as an EU citizen I am still entitled to this and am about to obtain one but if you are a non-EU citizen then you are not entitled to one unless you have any EU citizenship connection.
    Maybe anyone else can clarify this but this is my understanding from the website.
    Although I have made trips back to the UK and France from Canada and bought Canadian travel insurance I was treated under the British NHS twice (minor) and did not need to use the t/insurance. I was told by the UK doctors that this was because I am still a UK citizen.
    This link also shows that the EU card does not cover all expenses for EU citizens/residents either -
    Why doesn't European HealthCard mean you are insured
    My advice to anyone travelling is to buy travel insurance and avoid a large bill should any medical attention be required.
    50-100 euros, ?, $ is a cheap price to pay against thousands.
     
  7. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    I had a 5 day stay in Lugo hospital in Aug09 having gone down with blood poisoning at the top of Cebreiro.

    My European Health Card covered everything, including the ambulance, drugs, CAT scans etc. My 5 days cost me ?0!!

    It would not have covered repatriation to the UK or any costs of next of kin flying to my bed side. My worldwide health insurance covers those costs.
     
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