Spain—the land of paella, flamenco and fine weather — also offers an eminent location for medical tourists seeking a wide range of treatments in top-ranked hospitals. It’s not surprising: In an analysis of the world’s best health care systems published in the 2019 edition of CEOWORLD magazine’s annual Health Care Index, Spain holds the No. 7 position out of 89 countries surveyed, a placement earned for factors ranging from quality and training of health care professionals to infrastructure and cost (for comparison, the United States sits at No. 30).
A wide range of health issues and opportunities draw foreign visitors to seek treatment in Spain. Among them are stem cell therapies along with treatment solutions related to orthopedics, dental care, assisted reproduction and weight loss. Highly regarded hospitals, doctors and surgeons also provide specialty care in arenas including organ transplants and innovative treatments within the fields of cardiology, neurology and oncology.
Overall, the national hospital network includes more than 700 hospitals and clinics. Some of the most popular facilities for medical travelers venturing to Spain for treatment are located in Madrid, Málaga and Barcelona. That’s a boon for travelers, as these cities also rank as some of the most popular destinations for leisure travel, offering a wide selection of world-class museums, restaurants, hotels, galleries and shopping. Joint Commission International-accredited hospitals worth noting by potential medical tourists include Hospitales Sanitas and Hospital Universitario de Madrid in Madrid and Centro Médico Quirónsalud Teknon and Hospital Quirónsalud in Barcelona. Other facilities with outstanding global reputations are Parc de Salut Mar, Hospital Sant Joan de Deu, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Albacete and Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves.
Foreign visitors from non-European Union countries do not need visas, provided a stay is not more than 90 days in duration, and direct flight options are plentiful from North America and other parts of the world. Organizations including Medical Stay Group can help medical travelers coordinate services such as diagnostic testing, surgeons, nurses, interpreters, drivers, apartment rentals, hotels, price assessments and medical interventions. Even tour guides can be arranged; and while hospital staffs and medical providers are generally multilingual, these types of support services can be particularly reassuring to non-Spanish speakers who attempt to navigate the intricacies and nuances of a foreign medical system.
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