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.