Living in Andalucía - Choose or Change your Doctor

Choose or Change your Doctor

You do have the right to choose your doctor as well as a paediatrician for children under seven. For children aged seven to fourteen parents can either opt for a paediatrician or a GP. Choosing a doctor is a fairly straightforward process if you know your rights and follow these guidelines.

The first step is to visit your local health clinic or your Health District headquarters in order to find out about the doctors working in your area. More likely than not you will be faced with a list of names you know nothing about, so your first job is to start narrowing them down. The easiest way to do this is to ask which doctors actually have space for taking on new patients.

Once you know which doctors are genuinely available you may request an appointment to interview the doctors you are interested in (this is based on information from the SAS official website). From there you will need to fill out the proper forms and submit them to the Health Authorities, again either at the local clinic or the Health District office nearest you.

In theory you will receive a response to your application within 45 days of submission. However, if your request is approved you might not get a reply. If your request is denied you should receive some type of explanation which usually concern the doctor's ability to take you on as a patient based on his caseload which is actually more complicated than a simple number of patients he or she is serving. In fact, even though you were initially told that the doctor had space for new patients, those in charge of managing caseloads may decide that due to the type of patients the doctor is serving there is not actually room for more. This could be the case when a doctor has a particularly high number of elderly patients or young children.

Once you have actually been assigned a doctor you still have the right to change should you be dissatisfied with service. However, you must wait three months before starting the process over again.

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