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Gipuzkoa Talent

Basque health system

The Basque Country has an extensive healthcare infrastructure that meets the needs of citizens through the Basque Health Service-Osakidetza of the Basque Government or private health centres.

Foreigners who work in the Basque Country and pay Social Security contributions are given a Social Security card with their personal details and Social Security number. The Social Security card can be used to apply for the individual health card at the health centre closest to your home. This will give you access to medical and hospital treatment free of charge for the holder and their family.

Public health system

Public health system

Individual health card

The health card is the document you need for access to health services and benefits insured by the Health Department.

To obtain a health card, you must be registered in a municipality of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country.


The Customer Service Areas of the health centres of the Basque Health Service (Osakidetza) process health card applications. The application form must be accompanied by the following documentation:

  • Copy of the applicant's identity document (national identity document (DNI), family book, passport or similar).
  • Certificate or receipt of census registration in a municipality of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country.
  • Health card of the Community of origin if it is for transfer of residence.
Centres of the Basque Health Service (Osakidetza)

Private health

Those who prefer private healthcare can take out health insurance in their country of origin with cover in Spain or sign a contract with any private healthcare company in the Basque Country.

The following is a brief list of the main companies:

Igualatorio Médico Quirúrgico (IMQ) Sanitas Adeslas Asisa Mapfre


Medicines are dispensed only in pharmacies. Citizens usually have to show a prescription given to them by their doctor. In the public health system, the medical prescription is downloaded electronically and arrives at the pharmacy directly so that the prescribed medication can be dispensed.

The websites of the pharmaceutical societies of the three Territories contain all the necessary practical information about pharmacies and duty pharmacies.


A health emergency is a situation of extreme gravity in which the life of the patient is compromised.

If the situation is a health emergency involving immediate danger to life, call 112.



A health urgency is a situation in which the patient requires attention as quickly as possible, but their life is not in danger at the moment. If you have a health urgency, call the urgency service number on your health card (TIS).

Basque public health system, a reference for the world.

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