Back in March 2009 the Hospital Costa del Sol was one of the most visited pages on Gomarbella. Most visitors were medical staff from the middle and far east and were writing to Gomarbella to check on the local Costa del Sol hospital in response to a scam involving false job offers. The hospital had received so many enquiries that the personnel department stopped responding to emails.

A so called Doctor Luis Xavier was offering would be employees fantastic contracts to relocate to Spain to the Costa del Sol hospital and for the sum of 800 euros paid in advance would process all the necessary paperwork.

I responded personally to about 50 medical staff who had written to me from outside Spain to assure them that the whole thing was a complete scam. Quite a few near victims wrote back to thank me and to say that they had been on the point of giving up their present jobs and moving to Spain!

Update: 15/08/2010 There’s a big new wing being built right now coming out from the left of the building above.

I kept in touch with the personnel department at the hospital about the fraudulent job offers and even contacted the editor of the English edition of the Sur in English newspaper to spread the story more widely but there wasn’t much interest in the story.

Curiously enough I get most enquiries about genuine job opportunities on the Costa del Sol from nursing staff in the UK so I was interested to read today in the Health and Beauty section of the Sur in English newspaper that Spain has only 536 nurses per 100 000 of the population. This does not compare well with the EU average of 808 nurses per 100 000 of the population. In Andalucia there are only 430 per 100 000 and in the province of Malaga this figure drops to 355 nurses per 100 000 of the population.

The big regional Costa del Sol hospital just down the road from the Gomarbella offices where I go now and again to be tuned up is spotless and appears to be very well staffed and maintained. There is a big building extension programme underway right now just where the car park in the picture is.

If you are planning to move to Spain to work in the state medical system, remember that you will need to speak Spanish!


  1. Hello Princy, do not send any money to anyone and do not send your pesonal details to anyone offering jobs at the Costa del Sol Hospital in Spain. It will be a fake, a scam. Other people have lost money. It is terrible the way the scammers take money from innocent people. Please contact me on Facebook if you are still in doubt. Thank you for your contact. Best wishes Mike

  2. Hi R***** thank you for writing in. I very much doubt that there are job vacancies for non EU nurses right now. Spain's economy is not strong at the moment and there are not enough jobs to go around. To be able to work in a Government hospital you would need to have a good level of Spanish and a qualification which could be convalidated. Whatever happens do not pay any money to the person who wrote to you. The last time it happened a number of hopeful applicants were not only disappointed but lost money. I followed the matter up with the Costa del Sol hospital and the police. If you can send me the letter perhaps on Facebook I can check it out for you. Sorry about that. Best wishes Mike

  3. Hi Mike,
    I am an Indian registered nurse , I got mail regarding job offer letter for a job at hospital costa del sol ,malaga. I had read your article on fake jobs, I just want to know that is there really vacancy for non EU nurses in Hospital costa del sol malaga.please reply me , I would be very grateful to you ….thanks in advance.

  4. Hi Paulh

    Thanks very much for writing in. I have an optimistic outlook on everything but I am having to think really hard about what areas might have a buzz about them. You left exactly at the right time in 2008, when we were all flying high, perhaps you saw the writing on the wall. Since then there has been real decimation of jobs.

    The real estate industry has gone. Publishing and advertising have fallen away. Rentals are doing OK because the banks aren't lending to buyers so people have to rent. This season tourism has been about 5% up probably because of unrest in countries over the Mediterranean but extra staff were laid off sharply at the end of August, normally their contracts would have continued to halfway through September.

    I'm still scratching my head to think of any areas for opportunity opening up.

    I was 34 when I came to live here and still think it's a great place if you can get started. Could you manage a cheap flight out here for a couple of days just to get the feel of how things are? What is your area of specialisation in sales?

    I think we have spoken before?

    Best wishes Paul and sorry not to be able to put my finger on anything right now.


  5. Hi Mike
    I am looking to move back to Spain early next year having left to return to England in 2008. The last time I was there I found a job upon arrival but I know that times have changed and jobs are limited there now…. could you let me know if there are still legitimate jobs available within the sales industry, I have done some research but there seems to be a lot of what can only be referred to as dubious job advertisements online. If I was to return what do you think are the chances of a decent sales job for a man of 34?
    I look forward to your reply.

  6. Hello Nat

    Thank you for writing in and welcome to Marbella.

    It's great to hear that your husband is finding openings because graphic design is one of the areas which has really felt the effects of the slowdown on the coast. Nevertheless, there are lots of creative people down here with ideas and some of them have the money to go with the ideas so a couple of contracts here with some teleworking would be a great way to go.

    Having your own business down here can be very satisfying. To get started I would suggest getting the feel of how things are done and what the locals need first. Too often newcomers arrive with excellent ideas, spend a lot of money on getting started but the coast is just not ready or they have simply started in the wrong location.

    My best advice is that when you get here (or before you arrive) you dedicate time up front to learning Spanish so that you are as functional as you can be from the very beginning when dealing with institutions, plumbers and the locals.

    Then get a part time job or do voluntary work in your field to mix in and meet as many people whilst you get your plans into shape. When you do start off, try to be independent. It's a heady way of living and seemingly exciting joint ventures can run out of money and mutual drive and enthusiasm.

    Having worked in education all my life and from the last 32 years I have lived here, I would dare to say that the field of mental health is alive and well on the Costa del Sol. You just need to find your niche. Best wishes from Marbella


  7. Hi Im looking for any work in Marbella area as a mental health nurse or similar role. I have experience in relocation counselling and staff support in the uk and Dubai/ events organising charity fundraising. My husband is a creative director in Graphic design and seems to be getting offers but I'm finding it hard to find vacancies. Do you suggest starting my own mental health/ wellbeing business? my daughter starting 6th form in September in Marbella and I,m desperate to find work! would really appreciate any advice! Thanks


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