EHIC Medical Treatment
It is common knowledge that during a week's holiday for instance, you are more likely to have an accident than in any given week during your normal day to day life, and it's a good idea before you head off on a Benidorm holiday to make a note of where you can receive EHIC medical treatment. There are various reasons for this statistic such as driving on the opposite side of the road you're used to, poor paving on pedestrian walkways, trying extreme sports you've never done before, and topping the list, excess alcohol consumption.
Having lived in Spain for a number of years, not much surprises me and I have come to adopt the ‘mañana mañana' attitude to life, but I must say the lack of a government run hospital in a city as large and popular as Benidorm does surprise me. The city is home to two superb modern hospitals but both are private and, unless in life threatening circumstances, will not treat patients without private medical insurance. Of course, when travelling anywhere it's advisable to take out holiday medical insurance, but when travelling in Europe many rely on an EHIC card when in need of emergency treatment.
EHIC Medical Treatment
For those who are unfamiliar, an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) entitles members of the European Union the right to free emergency medical treatment at any government run clinic or hospital whilst on holiday. By emergency I mean circumstances such as accidents, sudden illness, strokes and heart attacks. Having said this, if you suffer a heart attack for instance and are already receiving treatment for a heart condition in your home country, you are likely to find your EHIC will not cover this and end up with a substantial medical bill.
During your holiday in Benidorm if you require minor medical treatment there are two clinics that accept EHIC cards, one in the centre of the Old Town and the other behind the Indoor Market on Av. Dr. Severo Ochoa. For more serious illness or accidents you will need to go to Hospital de la Villajoyosa which is only about a 10 minute drive from Benidorm. If you are in an accident and require an ambulance, it is highly probable it will be a private one and will take you to its respective private hospital, so if you're relying on an EHIC insist the ambulance takes you to Villajoyosa Hospital.
Consider An Interpreter
Bear in mind when seeking EHIC medical treatment, these clinics and hospitals are government run and don't nearly have the amount of available funds enjoyed by private hospitals. Therefore, unless you are lucky you will not have the benefit of an interpreter and if you don't have your own, you simply won't get treated, unless of course it's glaringly obvious you have a broken arm or require stitches for instance.