The Spanish hospital system is complex, with three tiers of care: one entirely state- run, one entirely private and a hybrid system that offers both private and state healthcare.
The EHIC card should be accepted by any hospital that accepts Spanish citizens under the Spanish health system.
AA Insurance discovered that taxi drivers, travel couriers and hotel staff are often paid cash by hospitals or clinics to direct unwitting travelers to places that do not accept the EHIC.
It also found that travelers have been told that their must provide their credit card details before any treatment is given as well as their travel insurance details and that the EHIC is not acceptable. In one case an up-front €500 fee was demanded.