A doctor attends to a patient at a health centre in Álava. Blanca Sáenz de Castillo
Plans accelerate for virtual health cards to give access across whole of Spain

Plans accelerate for virtual health cards to give access across whole of Spain

This would allow health professionals to retrieve all the patients' key data, even if they are from another of the 18 public health care regions in the country

Álvaro Soto


Wednesday, 25 October 2023, 16:29


The Ministry of Health has begun the process to introduce a single health card throughout Spain that will allow doctors to access patient data, even if they are being seen outside their own region, and which will also make it easier to obtain medicines from pharmacies anywhere in the country. The department, headed by José Miñones, opened a public consultation on Monday, which will run until 6 November, to gather the opinions of associations and individuals in the first step towards drafting a law that is expected to come into force in 2024.

The aim of the new system is to combat the problems that exists with having 17 regional health systems (18 if Ceuta and Melilla, managed by the Ministry of Health, are included) when health system users are in a region other than the one in which they are registered. The problem was identified more than two decades ago, when Ana Pastor was Minister of Health but it has still not been solved.

To do this, the plan is for the regional health departments to issue an individual health card (TSI) in virtual format (similar to the virtual bank or public transport cards that are carried on mobile phones) that includes "common basic data" that can be accessed by "all agents involved in the provision of healthcare or pharmaceutical services" in "the entire National Health System".

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