Marbella - Mini Guides
Healthcare in Marbella
If you are an expatriate living in Marbella or perhaps just visiting for a long period of time, it is important that you have access to vital healthcare for you and your family. The National Health Service in Spain is helpful, caring and professional and the private practices available on the Costa del Sol offer a great alternative for anyone who can’t speak the Spanish language.
Marbella provides an excellent range of medical facilities both in the private and public sector. One of the many advantages of living in the Marbella area is that in addition to the provision of general medical care for illnesses that are commonly found across any community, such as influenza, there are many excellent specialists offering advanced medical treatments for more serious and specific conditions.
State funded health centres in Marbella
If your resident status permits access to the state funded medical centres, or Centros de Salud, which are often referred to locally as the ambulatorio, you will find details about how to make an appointment with the doctors and nurses at the Marbella health centre via the Junto de Andalucia website.
You can use these centres for medical emergencies, and most of them have a 24-hour urgencias department. You will need to bring your passport with you and either a Spanish or European health card that entitles you to treatment in Spain. Some staff may speak English, but it is wise to take a Spanish speaker with you if possible.
Costa del Sol Hospital
The Costa del Sol Hospital, east of Marbella, also provides emergency care. It is the coast’s major general hospital and has an excellent reputation, particularly for emergency medicine. In addition, there usually are translators available if needed.
Marbella Emergency Services
If you require the emergency services, dial 112. This is a number recognised throughout Europe and it provides operators available to speak to you in the main European languages. On the Costa del Sol, the emergency numbers are Police 091, Ambulance 061 and Fire 080. Keep these numbers visible in the home and stored on your phone. Remember that even if you have no credit on a prepaid mobile phone, you can always dial an emergency number for free.
Private Healthcare in Marbella
Private clinics range from health centres that provide family doctors and nurses to specialist services, including antenatal clinics. Most foreign residents have private medical insurance to pay for use of these clinics, but do check when you make an appointment that your insurer is one that the clinic works with.
Marbella General Health Centres – Clinica del Rio
Clinica del Rio in the San Pedro Alcántara district of Marbella, is a very popular clinic that offers GPs, nurses and an excellent range of specialists. It also has its own medical insurance plan from Málaga insurer Customedic, which provides heavily discounted treatments for four people for one low-cost annual payment. The clinic also works with most main medical insurers such as Sanitas (the equivalent of BUPA in Spain).
HC Marbella is a popular private hospital that has been operating on the coast for over 15 years. It provides both in-patient and outpatient care and is renowned for the high quality of its medical services and its professional medical team and ancillary staff. HC Marbella is always introducing cutting-edge treatments and pioneering new techniques. The website provides information about the insurers it works with. It is a leader in plastic and reconstructive surgery, and has a complementary medicine department in addition to the standard hospital specialisations.
Hospital Quirónsalud in central Marbella, is part of a national network of hospitals and clinics. There is another clinic in Fuengirola and a larger hospital in Málaga city. It works with the majority of insurance companies and also provides more English-speaking staff than some of the other clinics. Quirónsalud has a 24-hour emergency department and specialist facilities for cardiology, radiology and an intensive care unit. It is also a popular maternity hospital with overseas residents.
Hospital Ceram Marbella
This hospital started as a specialist centre in fertility treatment, but now Hospital Ceram has widened its remit and in addition to still being a renowned fertility centre also offers antenatal care and maternity facilities, including a water birth pool. General surgery, cardiology, dermatology, traumatology and other specialisms are offered too, as are physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
An EHC, (European Health Care) card is necessary to receive health care in Spain if you are just visiting, this is obtainable from the health service of your country of origin provided it is within the EU. Private doctors will not accept this card and either direct payment or an insurance policy is needed to cover these bills. Expats can receive health care for free provided that you are paying social security in Spain.
Hospital Costa del Sol is a 24-hour hospital but this is a public hospital. For more information visit their website or find the hospital at the following address:
Hospital Costa del Sol
Autovía A-7, Km 187,
Tel: 951 976 669
Quirón Salud is a chain of 24-hour private hospitals, one of which is situated in Marbella. For more information visit their website or you can find the hospital at:
Quirón Salud Marbella
Avenida Severo Ochoa, 22
Tel: 952 774 200
Centro de Salud de San Pedro is a 24-hour facility that can deal with minor complaints. The clinic can be found at the following address:
Centro de Salud de San Pedro
Calle Principe de Asturias S/N
San Pedro Alcántara
Tel: 902 505 060
Clínica del Río
Clínica del Río has offices located in both San Pedro Alcántara and Estepona and offers services to residents of the two towns and their surrounding districts including Guadalmina and Nueva Andalucía. The centres offer medical care that was previously only available in Marbella and brings the best modern technology to patients in the area.
Edificio Playa del Ángel
local 4 29680292292
Tel: 952 805 329
Avenida Marques del Duero, 76
San Pedro Alcántara
Tel: 952 780 135
Spanish pharmacists are highly trained and often able to help find a treatment for a minor condition, so that you can avoid a visit to the doctor. Also, many medicines are available at pharmacies in Spain that may require a prescription in your home country. If you go to your nearest pharmacy you will find a rota of the dispensaries that are open for 12 and 24 hour cycles in your area. It’s very handy to know exactly where to go when you have a minor emergency in the middle of the night.
Healthcare in Marbella is generally easy to access and organise, and a lot of people use a convenient combination of public and private care. It is true that accessing the public care system may seem a little challenging at first, but once you’re in it you will find it an excellent service. The private medical clinics in Marbella are of a very high standard, with some offering staged payments, thus ensuring that healthcare is always available.
Pharmacies in Marbella are located all over the town but the ones in the centre of Marbella would be the easiest to find. Opening hours depend on the season and the individual pharmacy, in general pharmacies are open between 10.00-14:00hrs and 17:30-21:00hrs. Pharmacies are able to diagnose common complaints and medicate them thereby reducing the need to consult a doctor. Below are details of how to access both the public and private sectors and a list of the most important pharmacies in the Marbella area.
Farmacia Fco. Jiménez
Plaza Puente Málaga S/N
29601 Marbella Centro
Tel: 952 770 918
Farmacia Rodriguez Peñalver
Avda. El Trapiche 29
29601 Marbella Centro
Tel: 952 857 073
Farmacia Berdaguer 24-hours
Av. Ricardo Soriano, 4
Tel: 952 773 187
Farmacia Guadalmina Alta
Centro Comercial Guadalmina 4 local 6
29670 San Pedro Alcántara – Marbella
Tel: 952 886 717
Avda. Marqués del Duero 76
29670 San Pedro Alcántara – Marbella
Tel: 952 780 708
Farmacia Playas del Duque
Avenida Playas del Duque, Local 2
29660 Puerto Banús – Marbella
Tel: 952 817 872
Avda. El Califa S/N
29660 Nueva Andalucía – Marbella
Tel: 952 816 361
Originally written April 2009 and updated by Adam Neale in April 2020