Doctors from the public health system issue official prescriptions (receptes oficials) showing the medicines you need and your personal details.

When you go to the chemist's, it is essential that you take the personal health card (TSI) of the person whose name appears on the prescription.

Official prescriptions are green or red. Red prescriptions are for pensioners, for whom medicine is free. Green prescriptions are for all other users, whose medicines are partly paid for by the public health service under a system called copayment.

Hospitals sometimes issue other types of prescriptions, which are white or grey. If you are given a prescription of this kind, you should take it to your family doctor or paediatrician before buying the relevant medicine and ask them for a green or red version of the document.