Dealing with an emergency in Spain

Life in Spain Thu, 1 Aug 2013
Dealing with an emergency in Spain

We all hope that the need will never arise, but it is important to be prepared for an emergency in Spain - just in case. In many respects the Spanish emergency services work in a very similar way to most other countries.

The European emergency number is 112. You might help a child to remember this (or perhaps even yourself!) by thinking of a face and working up - 1 mouth, 1 nose, 2 eyes.  You can call this number from any phone without charge.

Some useful vocabulary includes:

accident

accidente

emergency

urgencia

I need an ambulance/ a doctor/ the police/ fire brigade

necesito un ambulancia/ medico/ policia/ bomberos

chemists

farmacia

24 hour chemist

farmacia de guardia

Remember, your EHIC card gives you emergency treatment in Spain if you are a non-resident. If you are resident in Spain you will need either a SIP card that entitles you to treatment by the Spanish health service or to have private health insurance.

If you do unfortunately find that you are in need of emergency treatment but can arrange transport yourself, then you should attend the emergency department at the nearest hospital. You should take your EHIC/ SIP or proof of private health insurance with you.

In some emergencies you might need to contact your country’s embassy or consular office. They can usually provide help and advice in emergency situations. You can find contact details for different embassies at angloinfo.com.

It is always a good idea to keep important numbers, including emergency numbers, somewhere in addition to your purse or handbag, just in case it is this that is stolen or lost. If you do want to report a crime you will need to make a denuncia at the police station. If you don’t speak Spanish fluently then it is important to take an interpreter with you.

There are three different types of police:

  • Local police (Policía Local) – controlled by the town hall they respond to minor crimes and traffic offences but pass on major crimes to either the Guardia Civil or National Police
  • Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) – these have a green uniform and you should make your denuncia either to them or the national police
  • National police (Policía Nacional)  – normally wear black uniforms or sometimes navy blue military style uniforms

There are plenty of services out there to support you. If you need the help don’t be afraid to call.

Leave your comment

Spain Explained by Ábaco Advisers

Request a Call Back

Our specialists are always ready to give you a call.

Call me back

Share in

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Property in Spain

Get the handbook that will ensure you buy your dream property smoothly and safer

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Property in Spain