How to Get the SIP Card in Spain

Health is a very important aspect of human life. Diseases typically compromise human health, specifically the immune system. Remedies usually help to restore health whenever one contracts a disease. However, some remedies are generally costly and thus a disadvantage to the underprivileged. 

The Spanish public health system relieves you of having to worry about access to medical care through the SIP card. It’s important that you familiarise yourself well with this amazing card.

The SIP card

The SIP card is a health card that offers individual health insurance. It also identifies you as a user of the public health system. The card is personal and cannot be transferred. It contains your basic identification details as the owner of the card. The SIP card also defines your right with regard to the supply of medicine. Indicated also on the card is the health facility responsible for your medical care.

Who can use the SIP card?

Everyone who lives in the autonomous community and has public health insurance must have a health card. This is regardless of someone’s age, including children from birth. Those who qualify for the card above all are people who are insured or co-insured in Spain. The National Social Insurance Institute determines whether you are eligible or not to receive public funds from the health system. Before applying, you need to have this right recognised by the institute.

What to do with the SIP card

The SIP card allows access to public health services that are provided by the national health system. All recipes are electronically stored so you won’t receive a prescription form from the doctor. The card also acts as identification whenever you go to collect medicine from the pharmacy.

The provider of the SIP card

The Ministry of Health is responsible for the issuance of these cards. Some of the cards are already in circulation, though in different models. Some include a photo, some don’t, while others come with a chip or a magnetic strip.

How to apply for the SIP card

Applying for a card is very easy. You can apply in person at a health centre that is nearest to you. You can also apply online from the comfort of your home if you have digital certification. The requirements for applying for the card are few. You need to reside in the autonomous community where you are applying. You also need the recognition of the right by the INSS. Residencia is compulsory for EU citizens.

The required documents

For a first-time applicant, there are documents that you will need for a successful application:

  • Your passport or ID-card
  • Sometimes the map of an autonomous region may require a photo. An official passport photo {32 by 26mm} will do.
  • Residencia
  • A proof of the right to medical care by the INSS.

How to acquire your SIP card after a successful application

After application, the card will be issued to you. How this is done depends on the autonomous region. It may be sent to your home address, or you’ll have to pick it up at your local health centre. In some cases, you’ll have to visit one of the larger health centres, where the card will be handed to you.

When you submit your application, you will be assigned a general practitioner (GP). The doctor and the health centre are indicated on the card on a sticker or a chip. You will be able to contact your GP on the website of the health authority. When you receive the card please check if there is any incorrect data. In case there is, you’ll have to apply again.

The Costs and validity of the SIP card

The card is free of charge and in some communities its validity is indefinite. In other autonomous communities the validity of the card is limited to 4 years. The expiry date can be checked online or on your card. For foreigners, it depends on the validity of your residential permit. 

How to check the details of the Card

The details of the card can be checked on the website of the autonomous community. You can change your details on the internet or at the health centre. Change of residence can lead to a change of your GP and health centre if you wish so. If the card gets lost, you can go online to get a new one. All you will need for this, is an ID.