Canarian Health Authority to distribute two million new health cards

The Health Minister of the Government of the Canary Islands, José Manuel Baltar, has announced a  new issue of replacement individual health cards  will begin to be rolled out to  users of the Canary Islands Health Service (SCS) as of yesterday, the 18 December.  The distribution of the two million cards is to be completed before October 2018.

Eligible patients can collect their cards from the administrative areas of their own local surgery “Centro de Salud” and you can check your entitlement to Spanish state healthcare on line, see here.

The new health card, which will show the personal identification data and the identification code assigned to each user by the SCS, will also contain a bar code version of your current CIP code.

A new addition is a  CSV (Card Security Value) reference number (like those on the back of credit and debit bank cards) this is a unique six-digit number for each card and which only appears on the card itself. This number adds an extra layer of security making sure that the correct card is being used by the correct patient.

Currently, at least 25 percent of SCS patients are having to use a paper version of the current health card, which while valid, does generate problems for Chemists at the point of supply of medication, and can also cause issues if the patient is travelling to another part of Spain.

Foreign citizens who are not registered with the SCS but who have the right to health care in accordance with current legislation on the rights and freedoms of foreigners in Spain, will be able to accredit this right through a temporary health insurance card, individual and non-transferable, which will be issued by the Canary Islands Health Service. This temporary document will also be provided to undocumented foreigners who are not registered, such as minors, pregnant women and all those without entitlement who are assessed as requiring urgent medical assistance by medical staff.

Everyone’s card will clearly not be available on day one, so make sure you keep asking until your card is available!