When discussing the topic of well-being in Gibraltar, we often get asked “is healthcare free in Gibraltar?” Well, we can proudly say that the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) has an excellent public health system, including a superb public health policy providing access for many patients to outstanding physical and mental health facilities.
St. Bernard’s Hospital and GHA
The main hospital, St. Bernard’s Hospital, offers state of the art facilities and a dedicated and caring clinical team of doctors and nurses within its public healthcare system. Those who work and live in Gibraltar pay into the system, as part of the Gibraltar Government health policy thereby enabling the residents of Gibraltar access to superior healthcare.
The spacious and modern St. Bernard’s Hospital, opened in 2005, has every type of modern medical equipment and a full team of skilled doctors just as you would expect from a first-class health facility.
Services include family planning and maternity, A&E, an enviable Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre and enhanced Intensive Care Unit. Recently GHA updated its Primary Care Unit offering medical administrative services, GP Clinics, Children’s Health Centre, dentists, specialist treatment areas and a minor operations clinic, plus lots more health services to ensure a quality of life for Gibraltar patients and families.
Gibraltar’s public healthcare system enjoys an excellent reputation for providing support to help patients maintain quality of life and well-being. In particular, Gibraltar has a highly skilled team of doctors and a range of medical and nursing services ensuring upmost after care and, of course, privacy.
The dedication and skill on offer is backed up by a track record of providing a fully appreciated physical and mental health service, all paid for by monthly Social Insurance Contributions.
To apply for this service, you will need to complete the necessary GHA application form, available from the Primary Health Care registration department, or available to download online from the GHA website, www.gha.gi.
The documents required for registration are as follows:
- Copy of your ETB Contract (Employment Contract)
- Copy of your PAYE Allowance and Social Insurance Contributions Certificate
- A letter from your employer
- Passport size photograph
- Copy of your lease or deeds
- A recent utility bill
- Proof of residence (ID Card)
If you are one of the many cross border workers, healthcare facilities are available to you and your dependants in both Gibraltar and Spain.
Planning your health care requirements is pretty straightforward if you live in Spain but work in Gibraltar. You will need to provide the above-listed documents along with a copy of your passport and Spanish residence ID, plus the relevant completed Spanish S1 Form available in Gibraltar.
Once you have completed the form and put together all the necessary supporting documents, including proof of residence, take this along to the Primary Health Care centre administration office for processing.
Private health insurance in Gibraltar
UK residents visiting Gibraltar are entitled to receive free medical treatment upon production of proof of UK residency, e.g. NHS medical card or UK passport.
However, the Gibraltar public health system also provides invaluable support for low-income groups; therefore, waiting lists for appointments, operations and A&E services are sometimes lengthy. Unless it is a medical emergency, it is first come first served.
If you have your own insurance or work for a company offering medical insurance or wish to opt for a pay as you go health care plan, consider private health care.
The options for private health care are numerous in Gibraltar with fantastic state of the art clinics catering for a range of health and dental matters in the privacy of luxury facilities.
If you prefer to fast track your medical treatment, you can opt for private or company insurance or pre-arranged payment options.
While Gibraltar has a reciprocal health policy with the UK allowing for UK residents to access the system, those visiting or working from outside the UK can take advantage of private health insurance. Insurance companies, similar to that of Medicare, exist to ensure foreign expats can access excellent health services.
Reputable insurance companies in Gibraltar that follow the Medicare example of providing specialist care and treatment include Aetna, Bupa Global and Cigna.
Gibraltar emergency numbers
Forward planning when it comes to health care is always a good idea, and here you can quickly locate information about hospitals and nursing emergency departments, primary health centre emergency information and out of hours’ pharmacies open in Gibraltar.
- 🚑 Ambulance Service – 190
- 🌡️ COVID-19 – 111
- 🚒 Fire Department – 190
- 🚓 Police – 199
- 🏥 St. Bernard’s Hospital
Tel: +350 200 79700
Tel: +350 200 72266
- 🩺 Primary Care Centre
Tel: +350 200 72355
Tel: +350 200 79700
- 🩹 Pharmacies
Gibraltar has numerous pharmacies offering prescriptions and impartial pharmacy advice, and most are open during regular shopping hours Monday to Saturday, some up to 7 pm.
Emergency out of hours pharmacy information is available via the GHA website, https://www.gha.gi/patients-visitors/pharmacies-on-duty-2017/ or their call centre: +350 200 79700
Also, St. Bernard’s Hospital has an in-house pharmacy available 7 pm – 9 pm on +350 200 07107
In any case of a medical incident or emergency that requires immediate attention, call an ambulance as soon as possible on the toll-free number 190 for 24/7 emergency services.