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Medical Tourism in Spain

Medical Tourism in Spain

Spain is fast emerging as a hub for medical tourism. It is among the top five medical destinations in Europe.[1] The boom in Spain's medical tourism is due to advanced medical services, affordable procedures, and experienced doctors.

This article will be your one-stop guide to help you with everything you need to know about medical tourism in Spain.

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Spain for Medical Tourism

As a medical tourist, you may want to travel to Spain for the following reasons:

1. Affordable Medical Procedures- Save up to 70%

Patients traveling to Spain can expect to save anywhere between 30% and 70% in medical expenses.

For example, knee or hip replacement surgeries are cheaper in Spain by up to 60% compared to the UK and the US.

Cosmetic surgery such as nose reshaping can cost anywhere between £3,000 and £4,000 in the UK, while it costs £2,400 in Spain.

2. The Excellent State of Healthcare in Spain

Spain is ranked 1st among the healthiest nations. Ahead of even UK (19th) & the US (35th).[2] Spain boasts a vast healthcare system with more than 804 hospitals and 160,981 beds.[3]

Spain's medical system offers more than 10,600 surgeries per 100,000 population.[4]

This extensive and affordable healthcare system attracts medical tourists worldwide. Spain's medical tourism is growing by 20 percent every year.[5]

The hospitals have dedicated medical tourist wings with modern equipment, highly trained doctors, and even translators to address this boom.

3. Qualified Doctors and Medical Staff- You Are in Safe Hands.

Spanish Doctor


Spanish Doctors

  • Board certified & well-renowned
  • Excellent patient safety records

Patient Care


Spanish Surgeons

  • Extensive training (6-12 years)
  • Registered with General Medical Council, UK

Patient Nurse


Spanish Nurses

  • Well-trained & highly efficient
  • Courteous and congenial to patients

It is a bonus that Spanish healthcare staff are also fluent in English. This will allow them to communicate your needs effectively and, thus, provide you with the best care you will need.

4. Travel Convenience- Hassle-Free Access

  • The international airports in Madrid and Barcelona make Spain accessible to Europe, the US, and Asia.
  • Flight time from the UK to Spain is under 3 hours.
  • There are a host of other connecting flights to smaller airports in other regions within Spain.
  • The cities of Spain are also easily accessible by air, road, and rail.

5. Post-Operative Care and Rejuvenation

Medical tourism involves not only curing illnesses but also total health rejuvenation. Spain has made a name for itself because of its numerous health spots. These include:

  • Beer spas
  • Mud baths
  • Silent hikes
  • Thermal springs
  • Meditation retreats
  • Wellness activities with animals

Silent Hike Many hospitals and clinics are located in some of Spain's most exotic locations. The soothing environment there provides an excellent ambience for a relaxed recovery after surgery.

Recovering medical tourists can also enjoy outstanding Spanish Mediterranean cuisine and diets. Spanish Cuisine

Cost of Medical Procedures in Spain

It is estimated that patients from the US and UK can save 30-70% of medical costs when in Spain. The cost comparison table below compares the prices of various procedures in Spain and the UK

You can get a rough idea of how much you can save with each procedure.

Orthopedic Procedure Cost Savings in Spain

Procedure Cost in the UK Cost in Spain Average Savings
Knee replacement (unilateral) €13,500-€18,200 €10,000 26%-45%
Hip replacement €12,000-€18,200 €13,000 26%-29%
Shoulder Arthroscopy €4,200-€8,300 €3,000 29%-64%
*Prices are case-dependent.

Cosmetic Surgery Cost Savings in Spain

Procedure Cost in the UK Cost in Spain Average Savings
Liposuction €2,500-€7,100 €5,670 18%-20%
Tummy- tuck €5,300-€7,100 €6,701 05%-10%
Facelift €8,300-€17,800 €7,188 15%-60%
Blepharoplasty €2,400-€7,100 €2,741-€4,964 30%-61%
Rhinoplasty €8,300-€9,500 €7,035 15%-26%
Breast Implant €6,500-€8,000 €6,500-€7,000 08%-10%
Breast Lift €6,500-€8,000 €5,830 08%-10%
Breast Reduction €8,200 €6,400 20%-22%
Buttock Lift €4,800-€9,000 €7,318- €8,965 5%-10%
*Prices are case-dependent.

Dental Work Cost Savings in Spain

Procedure Cost in the UK Cost in Spain Average Savings
Dental Implants €1,800-€3,600 €700-€1,000 45%-80%
All on 4 Dental Implants €19,000-€28,400 €9,000-€12,000 37%-68%
Porcelain Veneers €1,800-€3,000 €800-€1,000 45%-75%
Porcelain Crown €300-€2,000 €430-€550 45%-73%
*Prices are case-dependent.

Financing Your Surgery 

Affordability of any medical procedure is crucial in determining when, where, and by whom you can get your medical procedure done.

Lack of funds must not hamper your right to access the best medical care.

Especially when you don't have any insurance, you might want to look into the most economical options available in your medical tourism destination.

Here we provide you with the options available to plan your trip as per your budget constraints. Financing Your Surgery

Conventional Ways to Finance Surgery

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A Medical Tourists' Guide to Spain - In 8 Steps!

Visiting a new country for a medical procedure might seem intimidating in the beginning. However, thorough research and a well-planned trip can make the process relatively simple. We can guide you through this process step by step.

1. How Do I Select a Doctor for My Medical Procedure?

First, look for accredited Spanish doctors and hospitals that specialize in the medical procedure you need.

You may read reviews, enquire about other medical tourists, or send inquiry requests directly to the doctor. You may ask them any questions you have regarding the procedure.

These may include:

  • Do medical tourists regularly opt for this procedure?
  • What is the treatment itinerary?
  • Estimation of cost of the procedure.
  • Does my medical insurance cover the procedure in Spain?

Every hospital's in-house team will assure you that they are the best. In this case, a reliable third-party source of information can help.

This way, you will make a more informed decision. At MTC, our top priority is finding the best specialists for you.

Our verification process includes checking for a medical license, international accreditations, the latest technology, sterilization protocol, and patient reviews.

Check out this list of the Best Doctors in Spain.

2. Where Can I Stay?

Once you select your doctor, you now need to find suitable accommodation nearby the hospital.

It could be a hotel or vacation rental service like Airbnb, unique accommodation, serviced flats, tourist apartments, or hostels.

A few factors to be considered while choosing your accommodation are:

  • Safety of the area
  • Availability of transport
  • Distance from the hospital
  • Cost of the accommodation

We strive to provide medical tourists with the best package plans to make their travel to Spain affordable, enjoyable, and hassle-free.

3. When Is the Best Time To Visit Spain?

You must book your appointment with the doctor and schedule your travel to Spain, keeping in mind the weather, low airfare, accommodation, fewer crowds, etc.

Considering these factors will ensure that you make the most out of your visit.



Due to the pleasant temperatures and lighter crowds, the best time to visit Spain is in late spring (April to May) or early autumn (September to October).

However, the country's diverse offerings mean you can find something to enjoy at any time of year.

4. What Documents Will I Need To Get to Spain?

Once you finalize the above modalities, you must keep the following documents ready before commencing your journey:

  • Passport
  • Air ticket
  • Visa (if needed)
  • Identification Documents
  • COVID vaccination certificate

Medical tourists coming to Spain from any EU member state do not need a visa to enter Spain. However, they will need proof of nationality, such as a passport or a national identity card.

Tourists from non-EU countries visiting Spain for a short stay trip (up to 90 days) have to apply for a Schengen short-stay visa to Spain, also known as a C-type visa. Medical tourists may particularly request a Spanish medical visa.[10]Schengenvisainfo Spain Visa Application and Entry Requirements “If you are planning to visit Spain for a short stay trip (up to 90 days), then you have to apply for a Schengen short-stay visa to Spain, known also as a C-type visa.View in Article

5. How Do I Reach Spain?

Spain has a well-connected and accessible transport system. If you are from the US, Asia, or Europe, you may prefer flying to Spain.

The airports with the most international flight connections include Madrid, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga – Costa del Sol, Alicante/Elche, Gran Canaria, and Tenerife Sur.

Estimated Air Travel Times to Spain
Place Time  Taken Place Time Taken
London 02 hours UAE(Dubai) 08 hours
Dublin 02 hours Jordan 05 hours
Morocco 02 hours India 10 hours
Algiers 01 hour New York 08 hours
Libya 04 hours Los Angeles 12 hours

The airports further have last-mile connectivity, taking you to your final destination by train, taxi, bus, or metro.

You can consult the transport links on the information page of each airport. You will find recommended ways to get to the city and the average cost of the trips.

For more information on airlines, transport companies, security regulations, discounts, baggage limits, and checking-in, visit the official AENA (Spanish Airports and Air Navigation) website. Spain also has major cruise ports. The most relevant ones in terms of tourist traffic are those in Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Malaga, Cadiz, Valencia, and Bilbao. Medical tourists may consider getting to and around by this means too.

6. How Can I Pay for My Medical Procedure?

Our partner doctors and hospitals in Spain encourage payments through

  • Cash
  • Debit cards
  • Credit cards
  • Bank transfers
  • Wire transfers

Some partners may allow cash payments, especially for minor procedures.

7. How is Post-Operative Care in Spain?

Spanish doctors offer post-operative consultations and check in with your progress at regular intervals. However, Spanish nurses don't perform some British nurses' duties, like personal care and feeding. The patients' companions may carry these out.

Hence, all the hospitals allow one companion to be with the patient 24 hours a day.

8. Whom Do I Contact in an Emergency?

You can contact the emergency services in Spain by calling the pan-European emergency number (112) from any telephone.

Here is a list of contacts of the emergency services in Spain:

  • 080 - Bomberos (Fire Services)
  • 061 - Ambulancia (Ambulance)
  • 062 - Guardia Civil (Civil Guard)
  • 112 - General emergency phone number
  • 091 - Policia Nacional (National Police)

We understand that you may still have apprehensions about your travel to Spain. It can be very helpful to talk to people who have already been to Spain for medical tourism.

They can share their experiences and challenges with you so that you can make a better travel plan for yourself.

Book your appointment!

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Popular Procedures for Medical Tourists in Spain

The most sought medical services in Spain are:

  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Weight Loss surgery
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Elective surgery
  • Eyesight surgery
  • Dentistry

Here is a basic guide to various medical procedures:

Orthopedic Procedures

Orthopedic Procedure What is it?
Knee replacement (unilateral)
  • Replacing damaged knee with artificial joint
  • Invasive surgery (1-2 hours)
  • 3-5 days in the hospital
  • 6-12 months for complete recovery
  • The replaced joint lasts for >20 years[6]The Lancet How long does a knee replacement last? “Our pooled registry data, which we believe to be more accurate than the case series data, shows that approximately 82% of TKRs last 25 years and 70% of UKRs last 25 years.View in Article
Hip replacement
  • Replacing damaged hip with an implant
  • Invasive surgery (1-2 hours)
  • 3-5 days in the hospital
  • Can return to light activities within 6 weeks
  • The replaced implant lasts >15 years[7]NHS- UK Overview- Hip Replacement “A modern artificial hip joint is designed to last for at least 15 years. Most people have a significant reduction in pain and improvement in their range of movement.” View in Article
Shoulder Arthroscopy
  • Keyhole surgery to diagnose and treat problems in the shoulder
  • Minimally invasive surgery (30 min- 1 hour)
  • May return home the same day
  • Can return to light activities within 1-2 weeks

Cosmetic Procedures

Cosmetic Procedure What is it?
  • Procedure to remove unwanted body fat
  • Invasive surgery (1-3 hours)
  • Overnight in hospital
  • Avoid strenuous activity for 4-6 weeks
Tummy- tuck
  • Procedure to improve the shape of the tummy area
  • Invasive surgery (3-5 hours)
  • 3-5 days in the hospital
  • Takes about 6 weeks to fully recover
  • Surgery to lift up and pull back the skin to make the face tighter and smoother
  • Invasive surgery (3-5 hours)
  • Overnight in the hospital
  • Takes 2-4 weeks to fully recover
  • Takes 6-9 months to see the full effect
Breast Implants
  • Surgery to enhance the size and shape of the breasts
  • Invasive surgery (1-2 hours)
  • Can go home the same day
  • Takes up to 2 weeks to recover
  • Surgery to remove excess skin or fat from eyelids
  • Invasive surgery (1-2 hours)
  • Can go home the same day
  • Takes up to 1 week to recover

Dental Procedures

Dental Procedure What is it?
Dental Implants
  • Inserting a metal post to replace the missing tooth root
  • Minimally invasive surgery (1-2 hrs)
  • Takes only a few days to recover
All-on-4 Dental Implants
  • 4 implants that replace all teeth in one or both the arches
  • Minimally invasive surgery (2.5 hrs per arch)
  • Takes only a few days to recover
Porcelain Veneers
  • New facing to disguise a discoloured tooth
  • Takes around 3-4 weeks from consultation to final placement
  • Can last 10-15 years[8]Healthline" heading="How Long Can You Expect Veneers to Last?" text="“Porcelain veneers have a reputation for longevity. A 2018 review of a trusted source of multiple studies suggests that these veneers can last 10 years or longer in the vast majority of cases.”" url=""]
Porcelain Crown
  • A cap to completely cover the real tooth to hide its decay or damage
  • Takes around 2-4 weeks from consultation to final placement
  • Can last upto 10 years[9]

Well-Renowned Medical Destinations in Spain

Spain truly has something to offer to everyone. The sunny climate, exotic beaches, cinematic landscapes, yummy Mediterranean diet, and rich cultural heritage are what most medical tourists would look forward to cherishing.

We bring you a suggested list of places you may visit to make the best of your time when you are in Spain.

Medical Tourism in Madrid

Madrid, which doubles up as Spain's capital, is also a celebrated holiday getaway in Europe.

The affordable healthcare services and living standards, coupled with great holiday spots, make Madrid attractive.

Cibeles Fountain- Madrid

Madrid is at the heart of the high-ranking Spanish healthcare system because most of the hospitals in the city are Joint Commission International-accredited.

Popular medical procedures in Madrid include body scans, dental surgeries, and orthopedic surgeries. Recently, there has been a rise in patients from all over Europe seeking infertility treatment as well.

Gran Via, Madrid, Spain

Madrid's cultural offerings and stellar nightlife are a must-witness for people seeking minor outpatient medical services.

While at it, you also can visit other places outside the city, such as Barcelona, the Balearic Islands, Costa Blanca, and San Sebastian.

Medical Tourism in Barcelona

Medical tourism in Barcelona is more competitive compared to other neighbouring regions. The vast and reliable healthcare system caters to both the local population and medical tourists alike.

According to the Barcelona Medical Destination, approximately 20,000 patients travel to the city for either medical or specialized treatment.

Plaza-de-Espana, Barcelona, Spain

In Barcelona, you can access many medical services, such as cosmetic surgery, orthopedic surgery, and general care.

Other medical procedures include IVF, cardiovascular surgery, rare disease treatment, eye care, and dental care.

There are efforts to promote Catalonia as a popular destination for specialized medical care. Hence many more medical tourists are being welcomed.

Medical Tourism in Valencia

Valencia is also a popular medical tourism destination, famous for its excellent holistic and wellness approach to quality health.

City Square Fountain, Valencia, Spain

Senior citizens constitute a more significant percentage of medical tourists visiting Valencia. The city's good network of medical facilities and professionals has been the driving factor behind this trend.

City of Arts & Sciences, Valencia, Spain

Valencia's standard medical procedures include dental care, eye care, orthopedic surgery, cardiovascular surgery, and cosmetic surgeries.


Spain is safe for medical tourists, provided they follow general caution and travel smartly.

The Global Peace Index ranks Spain 38 out of 163 countries regarding safety and peace in the country.[11] As a testimonial to this, in 2017, Spain was the 2nd most visited country globally, racking up 82 million tourists.

Yes. Spain has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Spain boasts a vast healthcare system with more than 804 hospitals and 160,981 beds. It offers more than 10,600 surgeries per 100,000 population.

This extensive and affordable healthcare system attracts medical tourists worldwide.

The average consultation cost may be around €130- €200. Compared with the US and the UK, you can save up to 70% on some medical procedures.

Doctors and hospitals in Spain encourage payments through:

  • Bank transfers
  • Cash payments
  • Wire transfers
  • Debit or Credit cards

Yes. You may talk to your doctor regarding your post-operative recovery and schedule follow-up appointments accordingly. In some cases, you may also get a free post-surgery consultation.


Spain provides medical tourists with an ideal location for treatment. The world-class medical facilities and highly qualified healthcare staff will help you heal better.

You not only get relief from your health woes but can also recover in one of the best holiday destinations within your budget.

Begin your journey today!

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