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Typical scene in Spain ... a queue !

For those of us that have chosen Spain as their new home the benefits are numerous ... weather probably being the No 1 reason that most of us move here closely followed by relaxed lifestyle and a cheaper cost of living. Sometimes the "relaxed lifestyle" is alittle too horizontal for my liking and it can be frustrating at times .... you just want to gee them up. Classic examples are queuing at the bank, the Correos (post office) or trying to make a doctors appointment at the Centro de Salud (Health Centre). Firstly they just cannot seem to master the art of multi tasking or heaven forbid exhibit any customer service. Many a time I have been left to feel an inconvinience in their day ... how dare I ask if they have something in stock or wish to make an appointment with the doctor. You can walk into a shop and they are on the phone - obviously taking a personal call and they don't think to interupt their conversation to serve you but carry on regardless talking about the previous nights frivolities! Unfortunately it seems to be ingrained into their attitude and one that most of us living here have had to learn to grit our teeth and live with.
But its not all doom and gloom ..... I have some great news for those wishing to book an appoinment with the doctor. For many years I use to call my local Salud and usually have to wait some time before anyone would even pick up then to be told, not asked, "espera" .... wait!  Sometimes I'd be lucky and they would remember to come back to me other times Id have to redial after the line went dead (frequently). Then trying to actually request an appointemt for a particular day or god forbid a particular time would be neigh impossible. Once I was told a particualr day and time, turned up with my son, waited for 45 minutes before the pediatrician came out and asked what name to  inform me that the appointment had been yesterday ! Now my Spanish isn't perfect but I can certainly understand what day and time the appointment was for ... was this a vendeta against foreigners?  Well that stress can be alleviated as you can make an appointment on the internet - I have been doing so for a number of years but was suprised at how few people knew this facility was available. All you need is your SIP number and date of birth ... yes its that simple !

Log onto:
On that front  page click on the first option : Ciudadania.
This takes you through to the next page.
On the LEFT hand side click on the 2nd option "Sanitat24: Solicitud de Cita" and it opens out to 4 options.
Click on the 1st option " Cita por Internet"
This is where you need your SIP card number. Enter the SIP number then your date of birth in the boxes provided and press on the blue box marked "Validar"
The next screen will confirm your name in box A.
In box B click the circle then press "Seleccionar"
This screen will have your Doctors name and then automatically that days date (unless it is late in the day). You can now over type with a day of your choice ... up to 10 days in advance and a time if desired or just click on "Pedir Cita"
The next few available appointments come up. Click on which time you wish and click "Confirmar cita".
 A box will come up confirming the day and time and you click "ok".
It asks if you wish to imprintar (print) ... I usually do so that if ever there was a problem Id have proof but this has never been the case.
Its so simple and far easier than phoning. I have saved the website to my favorites so I don't have to keep retyping and looking up the address. After a few go's you too will realise how simple it is - write out the above instructions or copy & paste into word then print off for reference.
It will be one less frustration you have to cope with ..... now the next challenge is the Post Ofiice !

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