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Finding medical help in ENGLISH in Burgos

2020 Camino Guides

Janesathome

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future: Portugal (fall 2019)
Hi, I need to seek medical help for abdominal/pelvic pain and swelling that has just arisen (fast!), a few days post Camino. I see by this forum that I should bring cash in addition to my medical insurance info. Trouble is, I speak no Spanish and need to communicate! Any suggestions for where to go I am on my own in Burgos
And - bad time to find out the Vodafone SIM card I bought in Porto doesn’t work in Spain.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I'd be astonished if no-one here replies with concrete ideas. But if not - and in the meantime, you could seek out the advice of the folks in the tourist office near the cathedral - or the hospitalera at your albergue.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
If you have travel insurance, check to see if they provide translation services available by phone.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I would go to a local Health Centre anyway. (Centro de Salud)
Don't worry about language issues.
Medical staff are used to Pilgrims from all over the World.

We were treated by a Doctor in one Estella, who just brought up Google translate on her PC
She typed, and turned the screen to me for me to type!

A Physio we visited.......my phone didn't have cell coverage, so no 'translate app'
Pointing and gestures got us there amid lots of smiles and laughter

Don't worry, you'll manage.

I see 4 or 5 Centro de Salud listed in Burgos.
A couple are open till 8:30 or 9pm.
Maybe ask at your accommodation for directions to the closest.

Burgos CDS.jpg
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
You need to go to Urgencias in a Burgos hospital, bring you pilgrim credentials too, in big hospitals you will find somebody Who speaks English
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
If you go to the emergency department in Burgos Hospital, you won’t have any trouble being a non-Spanish speaker.

When we went, any announcement (for us) on the loudspeaker was made in English, so we knew where to go.

This continued in the xray department.

We were really impressed by the whole experience.
I can’t imagine that a non-English-speaking patient would receive the same help with language difficulties in the UK.

Fingers crossed for you 🍀
 
Last edited:

GaryPeacock

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
Hi, I need to seek medical help for abdominal/pelvic pain and swelling that has just arisen (fast!), a few days post Camino. I see by this forum that I should bring cash in addition to my medical insurance info. Trouble is, I speak no Spanish and need to communicate! Any suggestions for where to go I am on my own in Burgos
And - bad time to find out the Vodafone SIM card I bought in Porto doesn’t work in Spain.
 

GaryPeacock

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
Last year I attended a private hospital in Burgos purely because it was the nearest. It's located further than the Cathedral and the square and on for about another 1km. Its on the map of Burgos, more or less down from the Castle.
The receptionist I had spoke English as did one of the doctors. I was seen, had a xray, saw the consultant, got a prescription and was away in 2 hours. Downside is I had to pay and claim back on my insurance
 
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
From personal experience...

Get to the University of Burgos "Urgencia" (ER).

You will have no troubles with the language barrier.

Bring Pilg Passport and your national passport. It is unlikely that they will have a bill of services prepared by the time you are discharged and will send the bill to your home address. It is cumbersome but do-able and the expense is likely small.

Do alert your travel insurer as soon as possible so that they can start a claim.

Best of luck and Buen Camino!

B
 

CdnDreamer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (12, 15 & 18) San Salvador (18), Portuguese (19)
Your Vodafone SIM card should work in Spain. But you may have to allow "roaming" on your phone. When I got my SIM card in Porto this year I told them I was headed to Spain and they set my phone up with roaming. I was able to make calls and use data the whole time I was in Spain.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Downside is I had to pay and claim back on my insurance
When I went to a private hospital in A Coruña this year I considered it a plus that I was able to pay on the spot and then claim back on my insurance. Last year I went to the public hospital in Santiago to rule out a stress fracture. They had no facility to take payment at time of service. I received my bill several months later for 361€, payable only by wire transfer. My insurance did pay most of the hospital bill, but not the extra $30 I had to pay for wire transfer.


I had a great experience at the HM Modelo Hospital in A Coruña. They have an English speaking liason who accompanied me through every step - x-rays, stitches, and contacted my travel insurance to get a case started. I was able to pay my bill by credit card on the spot, and had an itemized bill making it easy to file my claim with my insurance company immediately upon returning home.
When I got my stitches removed I went to their sister hospital, HM Rosaleda in Santiago with the same type of service.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature
Hi, I need to seek medical help for abdominal/pelvic pain and swelling that has just arisen (fast!), a few days post Camino. I see by this forum that I should bring cash in addition to my medical insurance info. Trouble is, I speak no Spanish and need to communicate! Any suggestions for where to go I am on my own in Burgos
And - bad time to find out the Vodafone SIM card I bought in Porto doesn’t work in Spain.
i hope you got to the hospital and are ok. (Only seen this).
For anyone else who may need it, in my experience, Spanish hospitals actually provide English translators 😳
Let us know how you are. All the best.
 

AlexanderAZ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 (Sept/Oct): CF: SJPdP-->Fisterra-->Muxia (solo)
2019 (late Sept): CF: SJPdP-->Leon (honeymoon!)
i hope you got to the hospital and are ok. (Only seen this).
For anyone else who may need it, in my experience, Spanish hospitals actually provide English translators 😳
Let us know how you are. All the best.
I am replying to this thread just so people in the future who may come across this are prepared for a different experience and don’t go in thinking it’s all going to be easy peasy being a non-Spanish speaker. Last night in tiny Villafranca’s Centro de Salud and again today at the ER at the University Hospital here in Burgos we had an *extremely* difficult time. Not a single person spoke English. If they have a “translator” then that person wasn’t around. Absolutely no idea what we would have done if we and the nurses & doctor didn’t have access to Google Translate.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I am replying to this thread just so people in the future who may come across this are prepared for a different experience and don’t go in thinking it’s all going to be easy peasy being a non-Spanish speaker. Last night in tiny Villafranca’s Centro de Salud and again today at the ER at the University Hospital here in Burgos we had an *extremely* difficult time. Not a single person spoke English. If they have a “translator” then that person wasn’t around. Absolutely no idea what we would have done if we and the nurses & doctor didn’t have access to Google Translate.
I hope that the issue which caused you or your associate to need medical help has been addressed and that whoever it is makes a full recovery.

You make the entirely reasonable point that in Spain, the vast majority of people speak Spanish. It is wise to be prepared for that to be the case.

Fortunately there is virtually no need to speculate on how you might function without google translate, or similar. It’s unlikely that they’re going away.
 

Wokabaut_Meri

somewhere along the Way
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 2015
Pilgrims Way 2018
Via Francigena #1 Canterbury-Dover 2018
So many excellent and knowledgeable replies here already. I'll just add a very useful and lightweight tool that has travelled the world - and various non English speaking medical centres with me.

The Medical Visual Language Translator weighs 52gms is laminated and about the size of my hand. Wouldn’t leave home without it :)

DA790554-4E2A-4125-A005-5ED940A02941.jpeg BC6881E6-BC04-4D2C-A41C-35CE83DECF07.jpeg CE133E64-70E5-4BEF-9AB9-FF38AC87A78C.jpeg
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I am replying to this thread just so people in the future who may come across this are prepared for a different experience and don’t go in thinking it’s all going to be easy peasy being a non-Spanish speaker. Last night in tiny Villafranca’s Centro de Salud and again today at the ER at the University Hospital here in Burgos we had an *extremely* difficult time. Not a single person spoke English. If they have a “translator” then that person wasn’t around. Absolutely no idea what we would have done if we and the nurses & doctor didn’t have access to Google Translate.
Good feedback. I think that's the point. We can 'get by' .
We had similar situations with no common language (our fault not theirs), but we coped.
It's not a reason 'not' to seek medical help.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I hope that the issue which caused you or your associate to need medical help has been addressed and that whoever it is makes a full recovery.

You make the entirely reasonable point that in Spain, the vast majority of people speak Spanish. It is wise to be prepared for that to be the case.

Fortunately there is virtually no need to speculate on how you might function without google translate, or similar. It’s unlikely that they’re going away.
Funny that, isn't it? ;)
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
in big hospitals you will find somebody Who speaks English
You will have no troubles with the language barrier.
Regrettably, not my experience in early May 2016. At a major hospital, one doctor dragged off her other, more urgent, patient provided hesitant translations etc. From one x-ray shot of my right hip (and, I think, greater consideration of my age) the diagnosis was "osteo arthritis" and "rest".

A few weeks later in the UK, with x-ray shots in many positions, the result was no bone issues and advice to exercise. So I walked Thames Path and then Southwark to Canterbury.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Regrettably, not my experience in early May 2016. At a major hospital, one doctor dragged off her other, more urgent, patient provided hesitant translations etc. From one x-ray shot of my right hip (and, I think, greater consideration of my age) the diagnosis was "osteo arthritis" and "rest".

A few weeks later in the UK, with x-ray shots in many positions, the result was no bone issues and advice to exercise. So I walked Thames Path and then Southwark to Canterbury.
Sorry to hear your story, I hope your hip is doing better now! I can understand the situation in the Emergency ward, rather than a regular office, their main purpose is to rule out any condition that may require inmediate intervention, they will not necessarily provide an accurate diagnosis of each case, that is what specialists are meant to do.
All in all, the best of all is, you are doing good long walks again!
Buen camino!
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
I hope your hip is doing better now!
It was simply pulled muscles, from the descent down Alto del Perdon.

I went to the emergency department on the instructions of my travel insurer.

In the UK it was also the ED I was referred to for x-rays to offer a diagnosis. That is my understanding of what a major hospital is supposed to do And not make guesses based on age, as happened to me in Spain.

In all my work with professionals in many disciplines I have learnt to have an understanding of their motivation when providing advice and factor that in, when necessary, when considering that advice.

The right exercise for my condition came nearly three months later, on the last day walking to Canterbury. I came to a very high hedge with a high stile. Gingerly climbed up and over and felt good. 100 metres on, another style: repeat. And a third. By now any discomfort I had started that trip with was now completely gone.

And, as you will see below, I arrived at Santiago just over a year later. And another year later did 600 km from Canterbury towards Rome, as well as maintaining my training regime.

And all without any need for pain medication.

So, @amancio , kia kaha (take care, be strong)
 

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