Travel to the EU – updated 17/1/2021
If you are travelling to the EU, you can apply for a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or you may already have a still in date European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you already have an EHIC it will still be valid as long as it remains in date. A GHIC or EHIC gives you the right to access emergency state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in those countries (In Spain up to 90 days).
Check for the latest information on GHIC or EHIC online, or by phone on 0300 330 1350 or here Apply for a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Remember that a GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property. EHIC is not valid on cruises.
You should make sure your travel insurance covers your healthcare needs.
When taking out travel insurance you should also check:
- the level of healthcare cover it includes
- the travel disruption cover it includes
- the terms and conditions
Contact your insurer if you have any questions about your travel cover.
Check for the latest information on GHIC or EHIC online, or by phone on +44 300 330 1350.
Whilst you are in Tenerife
- If you need an Ambulance dial 112: if you say “English” a couple of times you will be passed to an English Speaking Operator.
- Depending on circumstances you may need to employ an interpreter during your doctor’s/ hospital visits as these are not provided under the national health, although many of the doctors, nurses and ancillary staff do speak some English.
In the South of the Island of Tenerife, The Hospital del Sur (formerly known as El Mojon) has a 24 hour ER and Outpatients department for most disciplines except Onconology although there is a day hospital. This is also the site of the as yet unfinished Southern National Health Hospital which is still under construction. — Turn right off the road to Arona at the 1st Chayofa turn off – Look out for the Big Bird statue. Click for Directions in Google Maps.
Hospiten Sur (Note the difference in spelling to the National health Hospital) commonly called the Green Hospital and Hospital Adeje are both private but WITH A NH DOCTOR’s AUTHORISATION or if the Hospital del Sur’s ER is not equipped to deal with the seriousness of the case and when you arrive in an NH ambulance NOT a private Ambulance, then cases and often outpatients appointments and some tests will be “subcontracted out” by the National Health to the private sector.
Sometimes the NH case will be stablised at the private ER at Hospiten Sur in Las Américas and then transferred to the National Health Hospital in the North – Our Lady of Candelaria (This is NOT in the town of Candelaria by the way) see here for directions:
Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria – Ubicación y accesos
If from the UK and you are using a UK issued European Health Card during normal surgery hours (and assuming that it is not an Emergency) it is always best to start at your nearest NH GP/Health Centre. Always take your passport as well as the card. You may not get seen that day if it is not a serious case but will be given an appointment time to come back. You will also need to make a doctors appointment if you need NH prescriptions.
These will always be part of “The Servicio Canario de Salud” ie the Canarian National Health Service.
They are in Puerto Santiago, Tamaimo, Alcala, Playa San Juan, Guia de Isora, Adeje, Arona, Los Cristianos, Valle San Lorenzo, Cabo Blanco, Las Chafiras and El Fraile (amongst other places: see a map herecheck the CS (Centro de salud) and CL (Consultorio local) boxes and the locations will show on the map.
Some of the National GP/Health Centres have 24 hour cover also (usually at the side of the building). EG Arona, Los Cristianos, Alcala if you click on the locations on this map then you will see ATENCIÓN CONTINUADA / URGENCIAS if that centre has 24 hour cover.
You can also go to one of the CAE (ERs) see here This time check the CAE box.