The health care system here in Tenerife is available to everyone who followed the process to be legally registered here as a resident (there will be a separate article specifically about obtaining residencia) and who meet certain criteria, I.e. that they are working and contributing through social security through either being employed on a contract, or that you are registered self employed and that you are making your contributions through that channel or that you are retired and have the correct S2 forms, In either of the first 2 cases you will already have obtained your residencia, and social security number.
You should be able to simply go to your nearest doctors office, fill in the required forms and register. You should always take your residencia, passport, certificado de empadronmiento ( you should also register with your local town hall to get this) your employment contract or self employment papers and your social security number (original document given to you by social security)
As with every situation here in the Canary Islands it is recommended to always carry copies of all your original documents with you as you may be asked to provide copies by any official department
Although some doctors offices have some English speaking staff it is recommended that you take a translator with you to make sure that this process is completed correctly and to avoid unnecessary conflict at the Reception.
For those who have reached retirement age and who chose to live here permanently, you have a different process to obtain your residencia, part of which is proving that you have either sufficient private medical cover, or that you have been issued with your S2 forms from the UK .
Once you have completed your Residencia you must make an appointment with Social Security, who will then register your S2 forms here and issue you with a document that you can now take to a doctors office along with Residencia, passport and certificado de empadronmiento, and register with the Doctor.
Once you have registered at the doctors office you will also be in the medical system and covered for emergency care at state hospitals also.
Please note that your European health card is not a valid medical cover for obtaining residencia and is only designed for holiday cover.
For all tourists and non permanent residents it is always advised to have adequate travel insurance to cover you in case of medical emergency.