One of the key administrative processes to complete when living in Barcelona, is getting registered to gain access to general health services. This goes for both Spanish residents and long-term residents in Barcelona. In this article ShBarcelona will explain what steps to follow to register with a CAP in Barcelona. When preparing for the process, you should know that you need a Tarjeta Sanitaria Individual (or TSI), an individual health care card.
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What is a CAP and why should you register?
A CAP is a Centro de Atención Primaria and this is the first level of health care services in Barcelona and its metropolitan area. These CAP’s are medical centres that offer general medical attention, prevention, health promotion and elderly health services. This is the first entry point for the medical system, and you must be registered officially in order to be able to get specialized services, like hospital or specialist visits or checks.
The medical system in Barcelona works according to your zone of residency. This means that you will be appointed a CAP that is based on your living address.
Register with a CAP in Barcelona
If you want to register with a CAP, you must be aware that first you need a TSI. The Tarjeta Sanitaria Individual is a required identification document that every citizen must present upon using any of the services of the Spanish National Health Care System.
This card is available for people registered in Catalonia, also for foreigners, although extra requirements must be met. The card itself costs nothing the first time, but if you lose the card or it gets stolen, every new card you order will cost 10 euros.
If you are a foreigner and you want to request a TSI, then you must officially be registered (empadronado) in a municipality in Catalonia. You must have insurance or be legally dependant on someone with insurance and affiliated with the Spanish Social Security System.
If you don't fall under any of the previously mentioned categories, then you can still complete the process and get access to medical services. You then must be officially registered in a municipality for at least three consecutive months before applying for the TSI.
The empadronamiento (registration) is an administrative process that can be arranged at the city hall of your municipality of residence, and this is the official paper that proves where you live. Being registered is a fundamental step to get access to public services, including having the right to use medical assistance.
Once you are registered at the city hall, you can start the registration process for the TSI. The section 'How to start the TSI registration process' will tell you what and how to complete the process.
Remember that, with the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you also have access to essential medical care during temporary stays.
If you are already registered in any of the Catalan municipalities (as an insured person or dependant), you can simply follow the steps below to get your TSI card.
How to start the TSI registration process
You are now ready to start the process of registering with a CAP in Barcelona. You can complete the process physically at any of the CAP’s or register online. You can do it yourself or have a representative take care of it for you.
- Find the CAP closest to your address.
- Prepare the required documents and visit a CAP to request the health care card.
- You will receive the card at home within 2 to 3 weeks.
- Click here and complete the form.
- Fill in all the information with step 1 (Datos personales I)
- Select the corresponding option with step 2 (Datos personales II and Tipo de Seguro). Select CatSalut if you’re a foreigner.
- Step 3 is filling in the information regarding your address and your contact details.
- Step 4 (Datos de la TSI): select the one that matches your situation.
- Step 5 (Confirmación): attach a copy of your empadronamiento (if necessary) and then click on proceed to complete the registration process.
Receive the health care card at home
Whether you went to a CAP or completed the process online, all you need to do now is wait for the Tarjeta Sanitaira Individual to be sent to your address. Once the administration has checked all your information and the result is positive, you will receive an email confirming your registration. It contains a provisional CIP and it allows you to access the medical centres or other centres within the Spanish health care system until you have received your official card.
After receiving the health care card you can visit your CAP and ask for a family physician (it doesn’t matter if you did the official registration online or at an office). From this moment on you are officially registered with a CAP.
You are now filled in on how to register with a CAP in Barcelona. If you have any questions, you can visit the official CatSalut website and more specifically the page ‘Obtaining the first TSI or Individual Health Card‘.
Important: Many of the links mentioned in this article are in Spanish and sometimes only available in Catalan. If you want to fully understand the information, we advise you to translate the text into your own language or ask for help. You must be able to understand the documents you are filling in and signing.