Is it possible to travel to Spain for surgery during the pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink everything. So much so, that many people ask us if it is currently possible to travel to Spain for treatment at Instituto Clavel. To begin with, let us assure you that the answer in most cases is yes! Healthcare is a priority, and it cannot be postponed. In this article, we hope to answer any questions you have about how to make your travel to Spain possible.

There are many people who are suffering pain and hesitate to even ask for a first evaluation consultation because they think that, with the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it might not be possible to be treated in our center. The good news is that, at Instituto Clavel we are continuing to operate on patients from all over the world, who have problems of the skull or spine that cannot wait. In order to provide the best service, we have been using these COVID-19 security measures since the start of the pandemic. 

However, to be able to travel safely and legally under current travel regulations, it is necessary to take the following steps: 

1. Contact Instituto Clavel for a free online assessment 

For this assessment, we will ask you to send us your diagnostic tests and complete a pain history so that our medical team can determine the appropriate treatment.  

2. We send you the doctor’s assessment with the estimated cost of treatment 

The doctor will study your tests and pain history, and recommend the appropriate treatment, and cost information. 

3. Schedule a video consultation with the doctor  

During this consultation, you will get to know the doctor, who will explain the proposed treatment in detail and answer any questions you may have.  

4. Proposed date and travel itineraries  

Instituto Clavel will let you know the available dates for your surgery, and propose different travel itineraries for coming to our clinic either in Barcelona or in Madrid. 

5. Request travel authorization from the Spanish Embassy 

Once you know the date of your surgery, you will need to contact the Embassy of Spain in your country, state, or city, to request an authorization for travel to Spain for the purpose of surgery. In order to get the authorization, you will need to provide the Embassy with the following documents:  

  • Your passport, and that of your companion if someone is going to accompany you.  
  • A letter that we will provide from Instituto Clavel confirming the date of the scheduled surgery. 
  • The doctor's medical report, provided by Instituto Clavel, explaining the need for surgery.  
  • A letter confirming the companion’s need to travel (if someone will travel with you), which will also be provided by Instituto Clavel. 

All this information will be transferred to the competent authorities of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior and the Spanish General Commissariat for Immigration and Borders, to evaluate whether to authorize entry to Spain.  

Once you have the authorization, we will help you find the best accommodation in the city and any other documentation you might need for the trip.  

6. Payment for the surgery 

We require payment by bank transfer at least 10 days prior to the date of surgery.  

7. COVID-19 PCR test and Health Control Form 

As of November 23, 2020, travel to Spain requires proof of a PCR diagnostic test for Covid-19, with a negative result, taken within 72 hours prior to arrival. It must be the original copy of the report, and it must be written in either Spanish or English. You can find more information here.  

In addition, before traveling, you must complete a Health Control Form, which you can download here.    

And, of course, it is necessary to wear a mask at all times and practice social distancing whenever possible.  

8. Arrival at Instituto Clavel 

When you arrive at Instituto Clavel, we will perform another PCR test, and proceed with the preparations for the visit with the doctor and your admission to the hospital. 

9. Admission, surgery, and hospital stay 

You will be admitted to the hospital on the day of your surgery, and we will be attentive to your needs at all times. Our team speaks Spanish, English, and other languages. 

10. Discharge from hospital, and recommendations 

When you are discharged from the hospital, we will give you instructions on how to care for yourself over the next few days, and we will provide you with enough medication for the next three days. We will also provide you with a doctor’s prescription for the medication so that you can buy more at a pharmacy.  

11. Rehabilitation and postoperative visit  

You will receive various sessions of physiotherapy at FisioSpine and we will give you recommendations on how to continue your recovery away from our center. A few days before you return home, you will have a postoperative check-up with the doctor.  

12. Medical follow-up and ongoing attention to your questions 

Three months after your surgery you will have a follow-up appointment with the doctor, which can be either on-site or online. We will ask that you keep us informed on how your recovery is progressing, and to send us x-rays at 6 months, 12 months and 18 months after your surgery. And, of course, we are always available to answer your questions.  

We hope that this information has answered all your questions about the possibility of coming to Spain for medical treatment during the pandemic. In any case, please remember that we will be happy to assist you personally if you need more information. You can contact us here.  

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