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International Students : Health Coverage

Health Coverage

Healthcare system

Barcelona has a wide range of healthcare centres and hospitals. The public healthcare system provides free, universal access to high-quality services at the following places:

  • Primary Healthcare Centre (CAP). This should be your first point of contact if you have a health problem. They offer healthcare and social services. You need to have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access to their services for free. Barcelona has a comprehensive network of CAPs. You can find your nearest one on the  Barcelona City Council website.
  • Public hospitals. You should only go to a hospital in an emergency. If you have a common health problem, you should go to your nearest CAP first. The healthcare staff at the CAP will refer you to a hospital if necessary. You need to have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access their services for free.

Barcelona also has a number of private hospitals and clinics. If you have taken out private health insurance, check the documentation to find out which healthcare centres or hospitals you have been assigned to.

In an emergency, you should call the emergency phone number 112.

For more information on healthcare, visit the healthcare section on the Barcelona City Council website.

You'll find more healthcare information on Barcelona City Council's website

Health coverage

All students at ESCI-UPF must have health insurance.

If you are a Spanish citizen, you must have medical coverage that is valid in Barcelona (Social Security coverage, a private health insurance policy, etc.).

If you are a citizen of a member state of the EU, EEA or Switzerland and are entitled to coverage under your country’s social security system, you can apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from the public healthcare authorities in your country. Although the EHIC gives EU citizens access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in Spain, the EHIC is NOT an alternative to travel insurance. It does NOT cover accidents, private healthcare, costs such as a return flight to your home country or lost/stolen property. Moreover, the EHIC does NOT cover your costs if you are travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment.

If you are a Swiss national or a citizen of a country outside the EEA, you should find out whether or not your country has a mutual healthcare provision agreement with Spain (as do a number of Latin American countries). If such an agreement exists, you can obtain a document from the relevant healthcare authority in your country entitling you to free medical coverage in Spain.

If you do not fall into any of the above categories or cannot provide a document issued by the relevant healthcare authority in your country, you must take out private medical insurance covering your whole stay at ESCI-UPF before you leave your country.

All international students, including Erasmus students, are required to take out basic accident and travel insurance covering their stay in Spain, in addition to holding a EHIC. We can recommend the following insurance packages offered by Grupo Batlle-Cobertis at a discounted rate for ESCI-UPF students (their Univer Incoming Erasmus BASIC pack covers the minimum requisites).