Primary Healthcare Centre or CAP
(Centre d'Atenció Primària, CAP)

Also referred to as an ambulatori or a consultori local in Catalan, a primary healthcare centre (Centre d'Atenció Primària, CAP) is the first place you should go if you have a problem with your health.

You can find out the address of the CAP you should attend, based on the location of your home, from the offices of your town or city council.

Everybody who has a personal health card is assigned to a specific CAP, where you will be allocated a family doctor (metge de família), also called a metge de capçalera, meaning a general practitioner, as well as a paediatrician (metge pediatre) to look after your children. CAPs also have a nursing service (servei d'infermeria) and a social care service (servei d'atenció social) provided by a social worker. They often also offer dental care and a sexual and reproductive health (family planning) service, as well as units that specialise in other areas of medicine. If you need a service that is not available at your CAP, you will be referred to another centre.

You can also obtain information on vaccination schedules and on health education and prevention programmes (mother and child health, food, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, etc.) from your CAP.

An urgent treatment service (servei d'urgències) is available in all CAPs from Monday to Friday.

Extended healthcare centre or CAC
(Centre d'Atenció Continuada, CAC)

An extended healthcare centre (Centre d'Atenció Continuada, CAC) is a CAP with an urgent treatment service on weekends and public holidays from December to March. Not all CACs operate on Sundays and public holidays, nor do they all have the same opening hours.

Your CAP will inform you of the address and opening times of the CAC that you should attend, based on the area in which you live.

An online healthcare centre guide is available at

Specialised healthcare
(L'atenció especialitzada)

Your general practitioner will decide whether you need to see a specialist doctor (metge especialista) or undergo complementary tests.

Some CAPs have specialist doctors on their premises, while others do not. If you need a specialised service that is unavailable in your CAP, you will be referred to another CAP that is able to provide it, to a diagnostic centre or to a hospital.

Such specialised services may be located in the town or city in which you live or in a nearby area, depending on population size.

(Centre hospitalari)

The services that hospitals (hospitals) offer include hospitalisation and surgery (operations, childbirth, etc.), as well as outpatient consultations (consultes externes), which involve seeing outpatients prior to pre-operation tests and the monitoring of patients. Hospitals also offer an accident and emergency service.

Your CAP will inform you of the address of the hospital you should attend, based on the location of your home.