Luxury Medical Tourism in Spain in Global Medical Tourism industry

June 24, 2020

When it comes to the best medical tourism countries, Spain is a must-included name for several reasons. A research pointed out that Spain is one of the most five destinations prefered by Europeans.

Spain is Europe’s top medical tourism destination


With a variety of high-quality but low-cost hospitals and healthcare clinics, medical tourism in Spain has built its reputation for many years. There is no doubt that Spain is Europe’s top tourism destination which attracts many people annually. The reason is not hard to guess. Inexpensive and professional healthcare services are what attract patients from all over the world, even patients from other countries which are famous for their medical tourism system.

The medical tourism industry in Spain has developed and become the second biggest in this field. With the revenues of roughly $43.6 million per year, Spain medical tourism industry contributes a great part in global medical tourism industry. 

What is more? Spain ranks 3rd in the list of most visited destinations in the world with 65 million tourist arrivals annually. This is thanks to a wide range of summer resorts, the Mediterranean weather as well as spectacular nightlife.  Agriculture, energy and medical tourism have become the 3 strategic industries which promote the development of Spanish economy.

Health and spa tourism have great potential in Spain because of different factors. One of those must be mentioned is the excellent international travel links which make it easier for patients to come for their Spanish medical tourism vacations. The low-cost airlines also facilitate the development of medical tourism industry in Spain greatly. The competitive prices, not only in transportation but also in medical tourism services and basic demand, are a factor affecting patients’ decisions enormously. 

Healthcare cost in Spain is lower than in other European countries.

Another factor is excellent facilities and perfect services in health and wellness hospitals in Spain. Many spas and clinics are located in the sunniest parts of Spain so that patients can best enjoy their luxury medical tourism in Spain. When choosing to take part in best medical/wellness tourism destination in Spain, patients do not have to worry about language barrier. As long as you are able to speak basic English, you can communicate well with Spanish practitioners because most of them are fluent English speakers.

Over the last few years, thanks to the proper investment of Spanish government, the Spanish health care system have found it in the march, allowing hospital wellness programs for patients to expand and become well-known worldwide.

Challenges Facing Spanish Medical Tourism System

Although Spain is one of the best medical tourism countries, there still exist several challenges facing the Spanish medical tourism industry, requiring a comprehensive solution from the government in order to facilitate the expansion of luxury medical care in Spain. First and foremost, luxury medical tourism in Spain is experiencing problematic promotion. With the best health spa resorts in Europe, Spain should have attracted a greater number of tourists seeking for best all inclusive health and wellness resorts. 

Poor promotion limits the expansion of the medical tourism industry

The patchy promotion has limited the potential development of the Spanish medical tourism industry for many years. Besides, it spends less on promotion than competitors, both in the public sector and private sectors. As a country with many favoured conditions for medical tourism expansion, Spain can do better than what it is doing now if they can take advantage of their strength. Both the governments and the private medical tourism companies in Spain should spend more on marketing and promotion so that the Spanish medical tourism industry can develop to its prime.

Healthcare System

Health care services in Spain are offered by the Spanish National Healthcare Service (el Sistema Nacional de Salud). The system has expanded massively in recent years. Nowadays, there are a total of 800 health and wellness hospitals in Spain and 2,700 medical wellness centers in Spain.

The Kingdom of Spain nestles on the Ibeinsula and is the home to nearly 47 million people. It is formed by 17 autonomous regions, each of which has its own geography and culture. It is the country’s geographic and cultural diversity attracts a large number of tourists, which is up to 68.1 million last year.

The healthcare system of Spain is the combination of both the public and private sectors. Spanish national healthcare system provides a coverage healthcare program which is funded by the nation’s taxes. Public authorities do not require any charge for citizens and legal residents and also include prescribed medicines. The Constitution of the Spanish Kingdom establishes the right protection of citizen’s health.

Spanish public healthcare services are too good, which presents a threat to the private medical wellness spas in Spain. Competing with public healthcare services which are funded by nation’s taxes, is challenging private spas, clinics and hospital. This forces them to continuously install modern equipment as well as improve customer services and provide effective methods in order to survive. Normally, the private sector caters to people who do not want to wait in the long line for non-life-threatening treatments, people with high income and healthcare tourists.

Spain mainly competes with other developed countries, such as the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Canada, Germany, increase the market share of the medical tourism industry, rather competing with other developing countries. Spain has its own potential to expand its medical tourism industry.

Long-term strategy should be applied for the march of the Spanish medical tourism industry

When taking Destination Environment factors into account, Spain is no doubt an ideal location. Friendly destination images, no cultural or religious conflicts and political stability are a real strength of this Iberian Peninsula nation, making Spain rank 8th in the list of best medical tourism destinations. When it comes to Medical Tourism Index factor, Spain ranks 20th. Medical facilities, equipment and services are a little bit lower than its sister European nations but are still above the average. Overall, Spain ranks 11th in the list consisting of 41 medical tourism nations. This requires both the public sector and private sector to design a long-term and effective strategy to increase the nation’s market share in global medical tourism industry.

Spainish Medical Tourism

With 20 JCI accredited hospital and clinics, Spanish healthcare system is ranked 7th in the world by the WHO. Spain does have it all, from a rich history, cultural diversity, spectacular sightseeing to unique local specialities. Spanish culture was influenced by external cultures such as Moors of North Africa, the Celts, the Jews, the Romans, Latin Americans and Filipinos. This great influence is reflected in not only the local’s spiritual life but also in the architecture of its building and museum.

Cultural diversity is what attracts foreign tourists

Spain is the 51st largest country in the world, located in Western Europe and between France, Andorra, Gibraltar and Portugal. Its dramatic number of Columbian, Bolivian, German, Argentinean, Ecuadorian, Romanian, Moroccan, British and French Immigrants contributes to the nation’s cultural diversity – a factor attracting tourists going on their health and travel holidays.

Spainish Medical Tourism Fame

Totally, there are 20 hospitals and clinics scattered throughout Spain are accredited by the Joint Commission International. More than that, Spain is ranked 7th by the World Health Organization for the best health care in Europe. A study carried out by WHO also pointed out that Spain has amount of the second-most satisfied people with its medical spa & wellness center.

750 hospitals with professional doctors and latest equipment provide excellent healthcare in Spain for tourists. Spain have high living standards despite the low cost of living, which means that patients coming here can enjoy high-quality healthcare services at a respectively low cost.


The best thing when travelling to Spain, for normal holidays or for medical tourism, is that you do not have to worry about the cost. Even the best health and wellness resorts in Spain offer medical services at a lower price than that of several European countries. Besides, the accommodation cost is quite low. Spain has a host of hostels, guesthouses and cheap hotels for all budgets. Hostels seem cheaper than other accommodations, so you can consider a reasonable private hostel room to save money to explore different aspects of this beautiful country.

The average cost for a private hostel room ranges from $30 to $60 per person per night. For guesthouse and budget hotel, the cost is from $35 to $70 while the average 3-star price is from $81 to $209 for the double occupancy room per night. Luxury hotels cost you from $123 to $16,800 per night and these costs can be a little bit higher if the hotels are near the beaches. For the one whose finance is strong, there are villas and luxury apartment rentals which include impressively sized habitations and locate in mountainous or coastal areas. The cost for a week in villas range from $2,380 to $7,620.


Spend time exploring Pyrenees Mountain range.

Taking part in medical travel in Spain, never miss a chance to explore this amazing country. Spain has Pyrenees Mountain range for nature lovers with lush meadows, green valleys and desert zones. These naturalists can spend time visiting Gomera, a volcanic island that is home to Garajonay National Park, or spend time skiing, rafting, climbing and hiking in Huesca – a city in north-eastern Spain and close to the French border. A wine connoisseur? Spain is the home to both traditional and contemporary wineries.

Once finishing your medical wellness solutions in Spain and waiting for recovery, you can visit some famous destinations in Spain. Beaches in Spain are a must-visited destination. The beaches of Barcelona are included in the list of the World’s Best Beaches by the Travel Channel. More than 5,000 miles of coastline, Spain can proud of its beautiful beaches. Normally, when it comes to Spanish beaches, tourists often name the Coasta Blanca and the Costa del Sol, but Spain has many gorgeous beaches that you should explore, including La Concha Beach, Playa De Las Catedrales, Playa Del Silencio, Ses Illetes, Formentera, Balearic Islands, Beaches Of Sitges, Nerija, Costa Del Sol,..

Architectural enthusiasts can enjoy the Moorish-inspired Mosques cum Churches and Barcelona for its unique architecture designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi. His works are omnipresent in Barcelona, including landscaping, buildings, Park Guell, Casa Vicens, Crypt of the Church of Colonia Guell, Sagrada Familia and Casa Calvet.


Spain is an ideal location for shopping lovers with a variety of shopping venues, ranging from high-end fashion shop to market selling handicrafts. If you are seeking a one-stop-shop, El Corte Ingles is what you need. El Corte Ingles shops are omnipresent in Spain. They are quite similar to department stores where you can find nearly everything. Prices are not the best, but if you do not want to walk around the town getting what you need.

Flea markets are what you should try when coming to Spain, especially El Rastro in Madrid. Located in the historic centre of Madrid, the market is held every Sunday and on the public holiday of the country. It sells a wide range of products, especially kitchen utensils, clothes, furniture, jewellery, comic books and souvenirs. Shopping in the flea market, remember to bargain and keep an eye on your bag or wallet and smartphone. The prices are often pushed up and pickpocketing is popular in this kind of market.

Going on medical tourism holidays in Spain, do not miss a chance to enjoy the best food specialities. Spain is famous for cuisines made of the best local produce. While going into luxury health retreats in Spain, the food we highly recommend you to try is gazpacho. The great combination of ripest and reddest tomatoes, garlic, bread, cucumber and olive oil brings you a special meal. These ingredients are blended until silky smooth. Being poured into a bowl and then the dish is ready to eat with tapas bars.

Many different dishes you should give a try include:

– Paella

– Tortilla Española

– Gambas al ajillo

– Tostas de tomate y jamón

– Patatas bravas

– Pollo al ajillo

– Cochinillo asado

– Pisto

– Turrón

Don’t give up your chance to enjoy the best Spanish dishes

And once going on health and wellness holidays in Spain, do not miss a chance to bring some unique items to your wardrobe. There is a host of Spanish clothing brands that have been dominating high street in countries all over the world. From Zara, a mixture of latest styles on the catwalk and classic cuts, to Mango, an ideal place for an affordable leather item, clothing brands in Spain offer fashionable but reasonable items. The other brands you can consider for a trendy piece of clothes include Stradivarius, Bimba Y Lola, Desigual, Pull&Bear, Adolfo Dominguez and Oysho.

Spain, with its top medical spas in the world, excellent medical tourism services, stunning views and reasonable healthcare costs, has become an ideal medical tourism destination globally.

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