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National Health Service

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If ever you should have reason to visit a Centre de Salut in Mallorca, as I had the other day in Felanitx, you can simply relax. You’ll be surprised how easy the procedures are, how welcome you will be made to feel and how efficient the service is that is provided.

There are two main options: either you are part of the health system in Spain, i. e. you have made contributions to the Seguridad Social and thus, are associated to the Sistema Nacional de Salud de España (the Spanish National Health System). In this case and when a resident in the Illes Balears, you will have been issued with a Targeta Sanitària Individual and your health concerns are covered.

Or else, you are visiting Mallorca on holiday or otherwise and are registered with the National Health Service in your own country. If you are from a country within the European Union you will be covered for any standard medical service just like at home. You should have obtained an EU medical card before coming to Spain, or what used to be called a Form E1.11. If you are from a non-EU country, things are relatively easy if you should happen to come from Latin America and/or a formerly Spanish governed territory. Should your home country be Brazil, Russia, the Ukraine, Canada, the US, Australia, India, China, Japan or South Africa, however, I must admit that I can’t give you much advice due to a severe lack of information on my part.

The third option would be that you have private health insurance, either on a permanent basis or for the duration of your travels. Again, in normal everyday circumstances the local Centre de Salut or Ambulatorio (health centre) or the Insalud hospital will deal with your insurers back home and arrange for any bill to be settled. For special cases or more complicated matters, please enquire with someone more competent than me.

Don’t get ill. But if you do, in all likelihood you will encounter professional care with a high standard of medical facilities. It would help, however, if you could speak the language, at least Castilian. If not, a very basic English is widely understood and spoken. In larger hospitals such as in Palma there are trained translators available, but only some of the time.

For those of you who might be concerned about my state of health, do not worry. I just had to go to have my eyes checked.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 26th, 2009. The time was 19:09:43.

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