Expats will enjoy high standards when it comes to healthcare in Gibraltar. Many of the doctors and nurses have trained abroad (often in the UK) and hospitals are equipped with the latest facilities and equipment.
It’s not always practical for medical specialists to be employed full time in Gibraltar, but they are flown in from the UK on a rotating schedule. Patients may also be referred out to the UK or a nearby Spanish hospital if their healthcare needs are unable to be met locally.
Public healthcare in Gibraltar
The government-funded Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) manages the country’s healthcare facilities and services, which are closely modelled after those of the NHS in the UK. There are three main public facilities managed by the GHA, providing primary, secondary and mental health care.
Expats employed in Gibraltar make compulsory contributions to social services. This entitles them to the use of public healthcare. To sign up, expats must show proof of identity and will have to prove that their social security contributions are up to date. This is done by providing the GHA with one's tax number or obtaining a letter from the Contributions Unit confirming payment.
Private healthcare in Gibraltar
Despite Gibraltar's small size, there are a number of private options available for expats who aren’t entitled to free healthcare at public facilities. In order to cover the cost of using private clinics and doctors, expats are advised to take out private medical insurance.
Pharmacies in Gibraltar
Normal pharmacy hours are from 9am to 6pm or 7pm during the week, and from 9am to about 1pm on Saturdays. However, is always a pharmacy available after hours, on weekends and on public holidays.
The various pharmacies in Gibraltar work on a rotating duty roster to determine which pharmacy stays open. All pharmacies are obligated to have a notice in their window indicating the current duty pharmacy. It's also possible to download a copy of the duty roster from the GHA website.
Emergency services in Gibraltar
The Gibraltar Ambulance Service can be reached by dialling 190. Paramedics are highly trained in patient assessment and are able to carry out basic, intermediate or advanced life support as necessary. These ambulances will often take patients over the border into Spain for treatment, though less complex cases may be treated locally in Gibraltar instead.