When you plan a vacation you never plan for a trip (no matter how quick that may be) to the emergency room. But illness is unpredictable and it is always a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected. These Health Tips should give you a good knowledge base to make your trip a safe and enjoyable one, far from Barcelona’s hospitals.
According to Aspasio.com, tap water in Barcelona is graded as ‘potable’ which means people can drink it. All over the city of Barcelona you will be able to find public fountains (especially in Plazas) where people can refill their water bottles which is understandable as Spain is a hot country and good access to fresh water is considered a neccesity rather than a luxury.
However, the water might taste a little…weird due to the heavy calcium found in it, so long term residents filter tap water to reduce the calcium and the chlorine which can be a bit much. If you’re like me and have an ultra sensitive stomach, then it would be safer to buy bottled water.
Probably as a tourist you need not worry about this black and white striped little annoying creature – as you would probably be sleeping in a hotel room with air conditioning. In the past couple of decades this species has invaded many countries throughout the world through the transport of goods and increasing international travel from the tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia.
They have become a significant pest in many communities and can transmit pathogens and viruses i.e. the West Nile virus and Yellow fever virus.
Everyone, foreigners and EU citizens alike, have the same right as Spaniards to emergency medical treatment in public hospitals. A EU citizen is entitled to the full range of health-care services in public hospitals but in order to obtain this, they must present a European Health Insurance Card. Even when they do show this card they may have to pay up front. Non-EU citizens have to pay for anything other than emergency treatment but not to worry as most travel-insurance policies include medical cover.
Pharmaceuticals tend to be sold more freely without prescriptions for minor health problems. At least more freely than countries such as the USA, Australia or the UK. I remember asking the pharmacist how I could go about obtaining a prescription for antibiotics without going to the doctor and she replied that if I had proof such as copy of the prescription or the box then I only needed to pay for it. This comes in handy if you don’t want to spend hours waiting for a doctor especially if its a reoccurring illness.
Another thing that is good to know when travelling to Barcelona is that if your country has a consulate in here, its staff should be able to refer you to doctors who speak your language.
Hospitals in Barcelona
Some 24-hour pharmacies follow: