Tenerife tips for its health care in Spain

The most important health care in Spain Tip since March 2020 is the Coronavirus Covid-19 telephone number. It is 900112061 for Tenerife and all Canary Islands. 

It is the only number to dial for everybody who has cold symptoms together with fever plus, perhaps some lesser frequent signs that may be part of the viral lung disease. It was named by the ICTV “severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)” on 11 February 2020.

Don't call your private health insurance, as was the rule before. I emphacize again to dial 900112061. Mainland Spain has different numbers for each province.  

Then, there are more important tips for health care in Spain in this article. They concern Tenerife and all its other provinces.

The only difference is that mainland Spain has many more hospitals of all sorts besides semi private Hospiten, similar to the one of La Rambla depicted above of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. 

Some hospitals specialize, such as for extreme burns. The UHNSC university hospital of Candelaria (floor space 82,035m2)  which is a government institution handles fire accident emergencies on its island first. Then, the injured is flown to a special clinic on mainland Spain. 

The Hospital del Sur (Tenerife South hospital) El Mojón in Arona comes up straight under the UHNSC, as it is a daughter of the main Tenerife university hospital. Find El Mojón at Carretera de Arona s/n C P 38650 Arona Tel: 922 174744 and 922 174745... It even does Rehabilitation to stop smoking. Mind that not all the important medical staff of El Mojón speaks English.

To the contrary, all young doctors at the UHNSC are said to speak English well.

Find the latest news about the Coronavirus of 2020 at the government Web of health and sanitary services for Tenerife


HUC teaching hospital of La Laguna

The HUC of La Laguna is slightly smaller in floorspace and by number of professionals than the UHNSC of Santa Cruz that is nearby. The UHC deals with special ailments as a referral hospital.

Health care in Spain news about the Norovirus

It's also called the winter vomiting virus that lasts seldom more than two days. All about it by the experts


Our family home remedies of oat porridge cooked in water with perhaps sliced Banana for seasoning as well as frequently consumed Camomile tea always helps me to recover after stomach trouble.

Important links for health care in Spain

Multi lingual English speaking medical doctor for both Tenerife North and South

A review about a top dental clinic for loaded Implants in Europe in Tenerife where even French is spoken besides English, German and Spanish

English speaking dentists in Tenerife.

Over 60 travel insurance .

Very important news October 2016 for heart health in Spain and Tenerife

The HUNSC university hospital of Nuestra Señora de Candelaria of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has made news for health care in Spain Tenerife again.  It is one of 20 finalists for best public, private hospitals and clinics of Spain in the category cardiology. This is very helpful to know, even if Tenerife was not going to win first prize. 

Hospital NS Candelaria renumerated in Spanish for cardiology

Dr. Antonio Lara Padrón from La Orotava of Tenerife Tel: 922 333391 (mobile: 618 90 30 38)
is part of the praised team in the HUNSC. Unfortunately, he doesn't speak English. A collegue on the same premises a Lady cardiologist is also said to be good.

Also, Hospital Candelaria had a track record of 559 organ transplants with 44 new livers in 2014   

Centros de salud

  • Definition of Centro Salud: Health care center by the government social security
  •  For whom? For residents and expats with Spanish NIE numbers as well as for tourists with European Blue Cards the EHICs from their home country
  •  Locations of the centers? In most parts of Spain and in almost all Tenerife suburbs or small towns
  •  Health care in Spain type? Consultation, medicine prescriptions, written transfers to doctors or hospitals
  • Tourist alternatives to Centros de Salud? Instructions i.e. permissons by travel insurances for private doctors or private health clinics, such as for Centro Medico Vida at Las Arenas, 73 of Puerto Cruz  or hospitals and Hospiten during week-ends and holidays.    

Note: Some countries social medical insurances may refund the visit at a private clinic,  which may have changed, though. Usually, that could be the case when such clinics charge less than those in the home country. However, best get a written permission from your social security health care provider at home before you travel. Otherwise, it is more safe to be privately insured for fast attendance while your travel.

Centro Medico Vida at La Arenas,73 of Puerto Cruz with its free interpreters for non Spanish speakers provides a very useful emergency service to everybody. Call TLF: 922382317 Obviously this can't be the cheapest service of health care in Spain Tenerife,  but this clinic has many friendly specialist doctors to help you.

What about an emergency doctor's appointment in Spain?

An emergency doctor appointment is called 'Cita de emergencia'. This term by translation is highly misleading. It's not health care in Spain you would ever miss.  It means you must wait on standby to see a specialist even with a transfer by a Centro de Salud.  It can take hours and more until you will be called up, as all people who had operations and certain others will be seen before you.  This also applies to private insurance patients.  However, you don't have that problem when you have a private appointment that you arrange and prepay yourself. Such appointments are also possible with specialist doctors who have rooms at Hospiten hospitals and other clinics. Then, consulting times may be relied upon more or less. However, without an appointment, unless by a real emergency due to a road or other grave accident, you must sit and wait when you check in at the Outpost Ambolatorio at a Hospiten.

In most cases, your British medical social insurance should refund your expenses. Have this confirmed in the UK, before you travel. At least, this was the case in Germany with an elderly German lady who always preferred the private Clinic at Las Arenas to a Centro de Salud. She went for expert help fast, always, as her son a Cardiologist in Germany told her to do. A few years ago, she would simply ask the Tenerife holiday home insider to join her on a taxi ride to translate during the doctor visit.   

What to do when your EHIC is lost or stolen

You together with an interpreter, unless you speak Spanish, must report theft of the EHIC at the next police station,  immediately. This is a general rule for all robberies and muggings. Then, call 44 1912181999 your EHIC provider at normal business hours to get a temporary replacement.  

The UK Brexit and health care in Spain?

Unfortunately, nobody knows yet if the Brexit will bring to an end all according agreements between the UK and Spain. So far by December 2018, nothing has changed.

Important tips for health care in Spain and in Tenerife with private insurance only

  1. Never call 061 or 112 for an ambulance when you have a private medical insurance. Use the private insurance emergency number instead to avoid high charges which also applies to ambulances
  1. The Centro de Salud is only for for European expats or European tourists who have a EHIC Blue card i.e. who belong to a social security system
  2. Only visit doctors who are part of your insurance policy
  3. Don't check in to the University Hospital Candelaria UHNSC by yourself either, as it is unlikely to be part of a private medical insurance, unless your private insurance gives the go-ahead
  4. Be prepared to have to at least prepay for any emergency visit to a Hospiten if not sent there by your private insurance or,  alternatively by a Centro de Salud

Patients with EHIC the European social security medical aid card

  • Use Centros de Salúd or go straight to a Hospiten or to the Hospital Candelaria for emergencies
  • Always required for health care in Spain: NIE application or NIE ID number, your European ID card or passport and the European health card EHIC
  • Dial 112 for health emergency and/or an ambulance (also for fire)

How avoid prepayment of short Hospiten hospital stays as an emergency out-patient?

A German with sudden heart trouble on a weekend was asked to prepay at a Hospiten. He had social security at home but had neglected to get an EHIC card. He had no other proof of his German social security medical insurance to show for either. 

Get your over 50, 65 and over 60 travel insurance which doesn't exclude any other age to avoid such problems with health care in Spain for tourists.

To the contrary to the best of my knowledge, no money needs to be prepaid when you become stationary in a university hospital, such as Candelaria. However, finding the way to that hospital in the Santa Cruz traffic jungle is another mission. Even a cab to get you to this medicare may present a problem at certain times of the day.

Medicine payments for social security card holders

I know many tourists that buy over the counter medicine in Tenerife pharmacies to take back home for being cheaper.

Otherwise, all or almost all your prescription medicine costs nothing,  or is cheaper in Tenerife provided that you have the Blue European card which helped a German expat to save  €179 per month on cancer drugs, while many were free.

Also, a room with gentle care had  been reserved for the terminally ill man at the Thorax building behind Hospital Candelaria. This was in case he didn't want to pass away at home. Also, an ambulance fetched him at home for hospital routine check-ups at regular intervals.

Expat Elizabeth who is in her Eighties would not swap  her medical care  in Spain Tenerife with the UK she told me. The ex UK nurse also said once that hospitals in Great Britain have changed so much to the worse. 

Tenerife Doctors and dentists who speak foreign languages

  • Russian speaking Dr.Med.Irina Gurvich from RussiaCol.Nr383806.101 - General practitioner, internal medicine, diabetics, Oxygene ozone therapies, Electro and Neuralgic therapies, anti-aging & acupunture - Has her own laboratory, ultra sound, ekg(incl.mobile) equipment, 24 hour visits in homes as well as in hotels, make appointment with nurse Ingrid at 922 386 40 Emergency: 670 458 074 - C/Venezuela 4 opposite Café Berlin, Puerto de la Cruz- Tenerife - Monday to Friday 10a.m.-1 p.m.

  • Eye Health care in Tenerife Spain by OPTICA COLUMBUS  where English, German and Spanish is spoken to avoid endless cues in consultation rooms of the rare specialist eye doctors in Tenerife and for fast information for routine eye check-ups without official diagnostics but,  eye pressure taken for only about € 9, for example

(English, German and Spanish spoken)
sells contact lenses
and all sorts of glasses.
Many important eye tests are done.
No long waiting like in doctors' rooms.
Superb, professional service.

Address: Plaza del Charco -Calle Quintana2
Columbus Plaza -first floor
38400 Puerto de la Cruz
Tenerife North.
Call 922 387072 for appointments


Semi private Hospiten Hospitals with options for private patients in extreme emergencies or accidents

From health care in Spain back to retirement advice...

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