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The Basque Health System

The Basque Country has a comprehensive health infrastructure which meets the needs of its citizens through the Basque Health Service-Osakidetza, run by the Basque Government, and through private health centres.Foreigners working in the Basque Country and paying Social Security contributions will receive a Social Security Card showing their personal details and social security number. With the social security card they can apply for an individual health card in the health centre closest to their home. This allows them to obtain free treatment, both medical and hospital, for the card holder and their family.

Public Healthcare

Individual health card
The Heath Card is the necessary and sufficient documentation required to gain access to the health services provided by the Department of Health.
To obtain a Health Card the applicant must be registered in a municipality of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country.

Application process:
Applications for Health Cards are dealt with by the Customer Attention Areas of the Osakidetza-Basque Health Service Centres.

The application documentation must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • Copy of the identification document of the applicant (National ID Card (DNI), family book, passport or similar).
  • A certificate or note showing registration in a municipality in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country.
  • A Health Card from the Community of origin, if it is due to a change of address.

More information about Osakidetza-Basque health service centres can be found in the following website.

Private healthcare

Those wishing to receive private healthcare can take out health insurance in their country of origin which covers Spain or use any private medical company established in the Basque Country.