This was written by Lydia Thain, who runs Lanzarote Living Consultancy, and who offers many services for residents and visitors to the island, including a translation service for anyone who has to attend hospital.
We hope you won’t ever need it, but this is an excellent guide to what happens at Arrecife Hospital:
I can imagine going to a hospital in a foreign country, particularly when you don’t speak the local language, would be a frightening experience.
This is a basic guide to, hopefully, take away your fears:
If you’re going to hospital for an emergency, you may be going to URGENCIAS at the Arrecife General hospital (official name is Hospital Doctor Jose Molina Orosa).
If you are a resident take your blue medical card, residencia and passport.
If you are on holiday take your passport and EHIC or GHIC card (if you don’t have this card, take details of your private medical insurance.)
When you arrive you will be greeted with English speaking receptionists, all they will ask you is what type of accident you’ve had (work accident, traffic accident, personal injury, etc) or if it’s an illness, and they will check they have your details on file (or make a note of them if they don’t).
They will send you with your paperwork to a waiting room (there are 2) but they direct you in the right direction. Sit and wait until you’re called. If you’re with a family member this is most likely where they will have to stay until they allow visitors (09:30-10:00 / 13:00-13:30 / 17:00-17:30 and 21:00-21:30). Children and disabled patients can be accompanied.
Normally you will be seen by a nurse first, then they will send you to the indoor waiting room (there is a small separate children’s area). Again be seated and wait until you’re called (this is when I get the magazine out). This time you will be seeing a doctor for initial consultation.
Doctor may send you back to the indoor waiting room.
As the information states, priority is for those that nurses consider more urgent and not by arrival time. This is classic triage in action.
You’ll now be called to start treatment / checks / drips / scans / x-rays etc.
If you have to stay in for observation over night, please note the above visiting times. If you are moved to a room, visiting times are 13:00-21:00 but they are flexible .
The information staff (green jackets) speak English and will keep your family member informed .
If your family members have to leave the waiting room, they can leave their contact details with the green jacket staff and they will inform them with updates.
Depending on the severity and whether you have time to plan to hospital visit or not, prepare something to read or watch, a drink (and snacks for kids)
Weekends are busiest (as the medical centres are closed )
This is a rough guide to help foreign people understand, from my view, the hospital procedures for A&E.
If you require assistance, call me on 0034 646004878.
Thanks Lydia! You can find out more about Lydia’s services at her Facebook page.
Related: Pharmacy information for Lanzarote.