Tenerife doctors - Tenerife health centres

If you live on the island of Tenerife you will probably be in need of a doctor at some point so it is a good idea to register with one. GPs work mainly as part of a medical team at health centres, which in Spanish are known as “Centros de Salud”.

In Tenerife you can choose a doctor under the Charter of Rights and Obligations for patients, which is called Carta de Derechos y Deberes. Under this charter you can either visit the doctor at the health centre or you can use the telephone and request that he or she comes to see you at your home.

Under the rights of the charter you will be recommended to a specialist if the doctor you normally see is unable to deal with your specific medical problem.

In order to be able to see a doctor under the national health system you do need to prove that you qualify for this. Just because you are living in Tenerife does not mean that you automatically qualify. It all depends upon your status as a resident of the island and your employment status as well.

In a contracted job your employer will have been deducting money from your wage to make payments to the social security system for you and this will enable you to qualify for healthcare.

If you are resident in Tenerife but have not been making adequate contributions to the social security system and are not in receipt of a pension then you do not qualify for free healthcare on the island unless, and only for a limited time, you have got an E106. This official document has to be previously applied for from the Department of Work and Pensions in the UK.

If you do not have a valid E106 then unless you have paid in your social security payments, or are covered by private health insurance you will have to pay the costs of medical treatment in Tenerife.

To see a doctor at a health centre you need to phone and make an appointment first. The number you will need to do this is 012 and it can be used on all the days of the week. It is also possible to make an appointment with a doctor by requesting one online.

Most doctors in Tenerife are able to speak sufficient English to talk to you when you attend but it is a good idea to take someone along with you as an interpreter if your Spanish is not very good just in case there are communication problems.