Sanidad reminds patients their old tarjeta sanitaria ceases to be valid this Friday

Updated 2 October: The Canarian Health Service has reminded patients that the old tarjeta sanitaria will cease to be valid from this Friday 5 October. Sanidad says that nearly three-quarters of all patients registered in the Canaries now have their new cards, but 27.22% still need to collect theirs. These will have some difficulties in accessing services in the rest of Spain, and won’t be able to enjoy the full functionalities of the new card in the Canaries where they will, however, still be able to avail themselves of healthcare prior to acquiring it. Sanidad advises patients to collect their cards from the surgeries in which they are registered as soon as possible to avoid any potential problems here or in other parts of the country.

Some patients have appeared to be confused about the “new card”, mistaking it for the new tarjeta that replaced the paper one a few years back. Some therefore think they already have it, others that it was promised and it never arrived: the new card Sanidad is talking about was only announced last December, so anyone who is talking about any card or card issues prior to the start of this year is not talking about the right card.

Updated 11 September 2018: Canarian Health Service Sanidad has reminded all patients that they have little time left now to collect their new tarjeta sanitaria from their surgeries – these are the local health centres in which they are registered with the state health system as patients. All new cards should be with their holders by 5 October, with nearly 1.5m patients out of almost 2m having already collected theirs. If you’re one of the last half a million who has not, you have just over three weeks now.

Original post 19 December 2017: The Canarian Government’s Health Department, Sanidad, has distributed two million new health cards to surgeries for collection from today by patients of the state health system. The new tarjeta sanitaria should be with all patients by October next year, announced Health Minister José Manuel Baltar,.

Patients will collect their new cards in the administrative areas of the local surgeries in which they are registered, with their entitlement and access to medical and pharmaceutical services being unaffected. The cards will contain the personal identification data and identification code assigned to each patient, along with a security code and a bar code with the conversion of the autonomous CIP code.

Likewise, a reference number of the type CSV (Card Security Value) that appears on the bank cards will be used, which is a unique six-digit number for each card and which only appears physically in it. This number is something additional that serves to protect the owners and ensures that they have in their possession the correct card at the time of performing any action with it.

Sanidad says that presently at least 25% of health service users have a paper document rather than a physical health card. This is equally valid when recording their membership number, but it generates problems in terms of pharmaceutical use or when a patient travels to another Autonomous Community.



  1. Can anyone here offer some advice re the new card? I went to collect mine, with my husband who is autonomo. The surgery had my husbands card but when I presented mine to be replaced I was told I had been taken off the register in 2014! I dont work but as he is self employed should be covered by his contributions. Im now being told different things and being passed from pillar to post

  2. I went to collect mine (Los Realejos) no card for me and my husband. I was told the same as Stewart, and that they are waiting for a machine so the could make the missing cards.

    I was given two printed sheets of paper with all new tarjeta sanitaria data including a bar code that – if needed – should be presented instead of the old cards and told to come back end of October to see if the machine had arrived.

  3. We registered at our local Consultario in August.
    At the time we were given a photocopied piece of paper to use.

    I went last week to see if we could collect some actual cards instead of an A4 photocopy, and the receptionist said there ARE no cards. On the wall were posters advertising the changeover, and when I pointed that out she just said no, no, my A4 photocopy was all we needed.

    So can I confirm there are physical (plastic?) cards? And they should be at the consultario? Or would they possibly be at the large centre de salud which we have not visited yet??

    1. Author

      yes there are physical plastic cards. And they should be at the surgery at which you are registered.

  4. I have had no problems with new sanidad card and have both mine and my husbands since December 2017 and have used it with no problems whatsoever.
    Just ask at the reception area in your health centre and it will be handed to you!
    I cant believe that 27% are still not claimed.
    MPD – VSL

  5. This distribution of cards has been rubbish. We went to the consultorio two months ago and I got my card. They told my wife that hers was not available but the Gad asked Sanidad for a machine so the could make the missing cards in the consultorio. After numerous visits still no sign of the card or the machine. A friend whose husband is undergoing a course of treatment told us on Sunday that when they visited El Mojon the Friday before that the hospital asked for her husbands old paper card as the new cards did not contain vital information like the NIE.

    1. Author

      well I can’t comment on that specifically, of course, but I have to say ours were ready and waiting for us at the surgery, and have been used perfectly in El Mojón, with no problem nor any request for any old or additional paperwork. I’d say, indeed, that I found the new system with the automatic card-reading machine in El Mojón to be a huge improvement.

  6. Thanks for that, Janet. Can we assume that everyone’s card will be there from today as 2 million must cover all the qualifying population. Just a bit baffling when they say it will take until next October to complete the process. Anyway, I will pop in over the next few days and report back on any problems (got the awful paper one at the moment).

    1. Author

      no, someone has just said that they’ve checked in their local surgery and it will be next week. As far as the Government is concerned, they’re available from today, but usual caveats apply!

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