The Spanish health system combines both public and private healthcare and within each separate state free or low cost health care is given to those who contribute to the Spanish Seguridad Social (social security). Although there are waiting lists for operations in the Spanish health services, they are not as long as in the UK and other European countries, and there is less of a queue because many people choose private healthcare instead, relying on the national health system just for emergencies.
Generally speaking the country's medical facilities are considered good. Many doctors and nurses speak English and most hospitals and clinics in tourist areas provide interpreters. Access to specialist care is normally via referral from primary healthcare services. There are also Accident and Emergency services available at hospitals and some health centres; more information can be found at the Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo website (the Ministry of Health).