(Tarjeta Médica, a.k.a. Tarjeta SIP)

Every Autonomous Region in Spain has its public Health Service ( Servicio de Salud )] and all EU citizens who live here permanently and who are registered with the INSS are entitled to obtain their NHS Card and use it anywhere in Spain. However, non-pensioners who are not working will have to take out private insurance, unless they are covered by an E106 (see below).

Each applicant must first register on the padrón in his local municipality and obtain a certificado de empadronamiento, and have his Foreigner's Identification Number ( N.I.E. ) or Certificado de Residencia. He also needs to provide proof that he is entitled to health care in his country of origin, with a valid EHIC and E106, or an E121 if he is a State Pensioner, so that the cost of his care can be recouped from that country. He will also need to show his passport and will need photocopies of everything.

Take these documents to the INSS in the nearest main town to register ( hours 0900-1400 ) [see the phone book under "Instituto Nacional de Seguridad Social" for the address]. They will usually process your application immediately and give you your NHS Card with your Spanish Social Security number on it. Take it to your local Centro de Salud, where you will be allocated to a local doctor.

Any queries about or changes to NHS cards can be dealt with at the nearest Medical Centre or by phoning 900 66 20 00.

Extensive information about UK pensions and the rights of UK pensioners within the EEA can be found at the following website: