Dealing with Medical Emergencies in Barcelona: Foreigner Healthcare Must Knows
When going abroad, it is important to have at least a vague idea of what to do in case of any unfortunate accidents or emergencies. This will allow a trip to be as stress free as possible, and it applies whether the trip is a family vacation or a work trip. Foreigners traveling to Barcelona should be happy to know that they will be visiting a city with excellent healthcare, so should there be any medical emergencies in Barcelona, help is not far off.
Emergency Contact Information
Perhaps the most important part of being prepared for any and all situations is knowing who to contact when things go south. In this case, 112 is the number to know and remember. 112 is the pan-European phone number for emergency services, and it connects to an operator who can then connect the caller to the relevant service. It is free and operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. For medical emergencies that need to be dealt with quickly, call 061—the ambulance number and the phone number for the CatSalutRespon, aka Health Response, service. They can provide remote medical care as well as advise callers on which healthcare unit would suit their needs best. CatSalutRespon has a translation and interpreting service worked by professionals who can provide help verbally and in writing.
Air Ambulance 1 provides medical escort services to any location , whether your loved one is sick abroad or needs to be taken home – their crew is prepared to transport them to their final goal. When calling an emergency service, it is important to state one’s name, location, the situation, how many need help, and if there are any dangerous substances or items. It is also important to stay on call unless told otherwise by an operator.
- Other Emergency Healthcare Phone Numbers
- 1003 – emergency doctor
- 961 496 199 – emergency dentist
- 963 600 313 – on duty pharmacy
Visitors from Europe are strongly encouraged to apply for the European Health Insurance Card, a card that can be used in over 25 European countries, before their visit. This free card allows travelers access to the same medical services that a Spanish local would have. Those who do not already have one should be sure to order a card before their trip, and those already in possession of one should take the time to check that theirs is still valid. To use the European Health Insurance Card, one must bring it along with an identifying document, for example a passport, to a health center.
The situation is different for non-Europeans, though that does not mean non-Europeans will not be able to receive health care. Residents of the UK can use their Global Health Insurance Card, and travelers from other parts of the world, for instance America, should look into travel or private health insurance. Private healthcare usually provides faster service across a broader range. Visitors to Barcelona will receive treatment regardless of insurance, but in the case they don’t have insurance, they will have to pay out of pocket.
- The European Health Insurance Card
This card can be obtained by contacting health the insurance institution where one is insured in, as that is the institution that will be covering the healthcare costs. Anyone who is insured or covered by a state social security system in a participating country can apply for this card. For families traveling together, each member must have their own card.
While this card is certainly convenient, it must be noted that it is not all powerful. The European Health Insurance Card does not work as travel insurance, does not cover costs if the reason for traveling is for medical treatment, and does not promise free services. Furthermore, the length of the card’s validity depends on the country, which is why it is a factor that must be checked before traveling.
Hospitals in Barcelona
There are currently 58 hospitals in Barcelona, with about 20% of them being public. There are four main hospitals in the state, Hospital Clínic, Hospital del Mar, Hospital de la Santa Creui Sant Pau and Hospital Universitari de la Vall d’Hebron, and all four provide excellent quality medical treatment for their patients. These hospitals have websites that are available in multiple languages, making them easily accessible.
With regards to medical emergencies, Hospital Clínic has multiple accident and emergency department centers for patients that require that level of care. They are CUAP Manso (the main accident and emergency center for non-life threatening cases), the Villarroel Accident and Emergency Centre (for most general diseases including sexual assault, the Maternity Hospital Accident and Emergency Centre, and the Plató Accident and Emergency Centre (for all general emergencies save the ones with specific activation codes). Each of these centers are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and have phone numbers that can be called.
- 935 54 28 75 – CUAP Manso
- 93 227 54 00 –Villarroel Accident and Emergency Centre
- 93 227 56 00 – Accident and Emergency Department Maternitat
- 93 306 99 00 (Ext. 3100) – Plató Centre Accident and Emergency Department
It is usually the CAPs, Centre d’Atenció Primaria, which are the primary healthcare centers, that are the first to deal with medical emergencies as long as it is during working hours. The medical help provided here is free for those with the proper insurance. When it is no longer working hours, then it would be cause to call one of the emergency healthcare centers that work with the emergency hospital services. It is recommended to call an emergency center before visiting to ensure it is not overflowing with patients.
Helpful Spanish Words for Emergency Situations
Though translating services do exist, when a situation is dire, there often isn’t enough time to turn to one. To be best prepared for an emergency, it is worth knowing a few key phrases in the language of the country one is visiting, which in this case is Barcelona. Knowing a few words and being able to communicate with locals can be a huge help in getting assistance in a foreign country.
- Emergency services: urgencias
- Emergency: emergencia
- Accident: accidente
- Help: socorro
- I need an ambulance: Necesito una ambulancia
- I need a doctor: Necesito un médico