Guide to Seeing a Canary Islands Doctor

Do you want to know how to make an appointment with a GP? Or, in an emergency, how to call  an ambulance to a public hospital? Look no further! The British Consulates, on Gran Canaria and Tenerife, have written this practical guide to receiving medical assistance in the Canary Islands.

Sadly, time and again they have to assist British nationals who find themselves in difficult circumstances which could otherwise have been avoided. So don’t let it happen to you!

Read the guide and share it with your friends.

Need to see a doctor in the Canary Islands? Here’s what to do…

If you are a tourist or on a temporary stay

The national emergency service

In an emergency, call 112 (they speak English and several other languages too). The patient will be taken to the nearest public health centre (Centro de Salud) or hospital by public ambulance if necessary.

If someone else is calling for you, ask them to call 112 rather than a private ambulance – or you may be liable for the costs of subsequent treatment in a private hospital if your holiday insurance company will not cover you.

Please note that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) does not cover any private care and it is advisable to have taken out adequate travel insurance prior to travelling.

Accident and emergency services at health centres

If it’s less of an emergency you can go directly to the nearest public health centre or hospital, which you can find by searching the map below or clicking here. (Search directly in the top left box on the map, or zoom out to see all the islands, and then click the label AREA DE SALUD for your island. This produces a pop-up list of medical centre locations.)

Most main health centres provide an A&E (Urgencias) service from 8am to 8pm. At some health centres the A&E unit operates 24 hours a day, including weekends and bank holidays.

The patient, or a family member, will need to present their passport and European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) at the admissions desk of the public hospital or health centre.

If you don’t have an EHIC, or it has been lost or stolen, don’t worry – you can still be treated and get a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) to cover your emergency or necessary medical care. The PRC is sent directly to the billing department at the public health centre or hospital. Click here to find out how to get a PRC.

If you are resident and registered for healthcare

The national emergency service

In an emergency, call 112 (they speak English and many other languages). The patient will be taken to the nearest public health centre (Centro de Salud) or hospital by public ambulance if necessary.

Accident and emergency services at health centres*

If it’s less of an emergency you can go directly to the nearest public health centre or hospital, which you can find on the map below or by clicking here. (Search directly in the top left box on the map, or zoom out to see all the islands, and then click the label AREA DE SALUD for your island. This produces a pop-up list of medical centre locations.)

Most main health centres provide an A&E (Urgencias) service from 8am to 8pm. At some health centres the A&E unit operates 24 hours a day, including weekends and bank holidays.

The patient, or a family member, will need to present their passport and Tarjeta Sanitaria (blue card) at the admissions desk of the public hospital or health centre.

 Appointments with GPs*

To make an appointment with your GP at your local health centre, you can:

Appointments with specialists*

Your GP will arrange this. Normally they give you a form to hand to the admissions desk at your local health centre (who can sometimes make an appointment for you there and then).

If the specialist appointment is in a hospital, you will receive a call from the hospital with appointment details (and a reminder normally a week or so before).

Some specialist appointments are ordered directly by your GP. You will be notified by telephone, and you may even receive a text message reminder the day before.

Residents on the smaller islands

Some patients who need specific tests or treatment might be referred (or transferred, in an emergency) to one of the public hospitals in the two larger islands:

  • • From Fuerteventura and Lanzarote referrals are to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria.
  • • From La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro referrals are to Tenerife.

If you are resident but not registered for healthcare

In an emergency – or if a doctor at a public health centre or hospital considers that you need medical care – you can use the services described on the first page.

However, you (or your next of kin) will be asked to complete and sign a form in which you agree to cover any medical costs by:

  • • paying the costs yourself when you receive a bill from the hospital, or
  • • paying through your private medical.

Remember, residents in Spain cannot use their UK issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access public healthcare.

*Please note that if you are not confident speaking Spanish, it is advisable to take an interpreter with you.

How to register for healthcare in Spain

To register for healthcare in Spain, please visit the resident pages of healthcareinspain.eu where you will find practical and easy to follow information.

This document and it´s links is available at
http://healthcareinspain.eu/2016/04/step-by-step-guide-to-seeing-a-doctor-in-the-canary-islands/

Below is a map of Gran Canaria and The Canary Islands
with all of the public health facilities marked
including health centres and hospitals

If you are having any trouble seeing the map
Click here for the Full Page Version

You can either search for your locality in the Search Box (top left of the map – “…buscar en el mapa
Tip: Puerto Rico won´t work, you will need to type “Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria”)
or alternatively zoom into your location to find the nearest centre.
It is also possible to zoom out to view all the canary islands and then click on the
Health Area (“Area de Salud”)
for your island to get a full list of the municipalities on that island

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