When leaving your country, even for a few months, with children, it is very important to learn more about the local healthcare system. In addition, it is good to know in advance where you can find a doctor when needed.
Our native country Lithuania is EU member, therefore we did not bother too much about hospitals before going to Gran Canaria. We just had our European Health Insurance cards (EHIC) made (for all 4 of us) and put them in our document case somewhere deep in the bags. Just in case we need them. It is a must to have them with you. Especially, if you don’t want additional inconveniences and additional expenses when getting some help.
Fortunatelly, we also had an opportunity to call our Lithuanian pediatrician whenever needed to get a consultation. And in addition we had the private travel health insurance included in our credit cards agreements by default. Which made us feel safe enough. So we decided that all this package was enough for us and that we don’t want to register as the permanent clients of the local medical centers for the whole stay.
And now I can firmly count that we have used EHIC for children twice. Unexpectedly, the main problem for us was to find the right hospital to go to when we had a problem. So here I am sharing our short story and the main useful information for other parents.
Experience with Guanarteme Health Center
It was just few days after the first birthday when one of our little ones felt bad on the Saturday evening. His temperature was rising up till 39 C. It seemed like the growing teeth case, but as it was the first time ever for me (such a high temperature), I called 112 to ask for an advice. They recommended to visit the nearest hospital’s emergency room, which was the Health Center Guanarteme emergencies (in Spanish Urgencias Ambulatorio Guanarteme). And they said it’s not serious enough for the doctor to come to our apartment. I packed one kid and took a taxi, the other one left with the dad at home.
It was a nightmare for me to visit this particular health center “sala de urgencias”. The premises were a little dirty, nobody spoke English, and the doctor on duty was chatting with some girlfriend on Facebook during the whole consultation! So he did not really made a proper investigation and from the first second started filling-in the form (while poping-in and out of the chat), stating that this is the teeth case. I spoke a little Spanish, gesture, he understood a little English. Ok. He gave me a paracetamol pill and was hurrying us up to leave the room. I was really shocked because this kind of inattention. How a one year old can take a pill? A huge one? What about suggesting me other options and recommending the 24/7 open pharmacy? What about checking the kid more properly? And finally, what about banning Facebook in all the salas de urgencias?
When I calmed down I gave my baby a special Ibuprofen syrup from the high temperature which was recommended by our Lithuanian doctor before leaving. It’s great that our doctor in Lithuania helped us to form the emergency kit for kids (like syrups from feather, some medicines from allergy, some for the stomach, some for the nose, etc.). The great news the other morning was that our boy was feeling good, so we forget this story for a while.
Great experience with University hospital C.H.U. – Materno Infantil
Within a week both of our twins got some tiny skin rash on their face. No other symptoms. I called my doctor in Lithuania, after the consultation she suggested not to worry too much, but recommended to visit the local doctor to be sure.
So I took a walk and visited 5 private clinics looking for a good pediatrician. However, the only pediatrician I heard of in Puerto Canteras district was in Mesa y Lopez Street. Not sure if he worked on weekends. Fortunately, we were lucky that one very nice nurse have recommended to visit the “Materno Infantil”, which is the University Hospital emergencies room. She said that this is the only place to go with the small children or babies in Gran Canaria. It is 5-10 minutes’ drive from the city center of Las Palmas to the South, next to the main road.
So we did go were. And it was a positive surprise – a normal hospital, like we are used to in Lithuania: clean, full of professional doctors and various equipment, very helpful personnel and almost everybody spoke English.
The doctor stated that this was a virus and we got some moistures to look up after the babies’ skin. We were happy to get professional consultation with the EHIC. And, finally, to calm down.
Where to go if you need a help of pediatrician in Gran Canaria?
This is our advice what to do if you need to see the children or baby doctor urgently in Gran Canaria:
- Go to the University Hospital, just ask the taxi driver to take you to “Materno Infantil”. It is 10 minutes drive from Las Palmas city center. (Take the European Health Insurance Card and Passport/ID with you). Here is the address and contact information:
C.H.U. Insular – Materno Infantil,
Maritime Avenue South, s /n 35016 – Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Adults: 928 441 132
Pediatrics and Gynecology: 928 308 501
Adults: 928 444 321
Pediatrics: 928 444 671
Gynecology: 928 444 800
- Register at the main counter, which is straight opposite the main entrance. You need to provide the ID card/passport and EHIC.
- You will be invited by name to the primary medical inspection. It is the small room on the left next to the main entrance. People do speak English there. If not, ask for someone to assist you, they definitely have one.
- Wait at the waiting room until you will be invited (by name) to the doctor.
- After the visit, you get a document with the details about the diagnosis and prescriptions. You might want to take it with you to your doctor at home.
The same hospital has emergency service for the adults. So if you are on holiday and your children or you need to see the doctor urgently, we highly recommend this hospital.
We hope that this information was helpful and wish you and your family to stay healthy!