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Coordinating Institution
Ministerio de Sanidad, Consumo y Bienestar Social
National Node Description

There is no formal national node in Spain. In the meanwhile, the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Institute of Health Carlos III), or ISCIII, will act as an informal national node for the PHIRI purposes. The mission of the ISCIII is to contribute to improving the health of all citizens and to fight diseases through the promotion of research and innovation in Health Sciences and Biomedicine and through the provision of groundbreaking scientific and technical services and educational programmes directed towards the National Health System.

In light of its mission, the objectives of the ISCIII are:

  • Promote research aimed at protecting and improving health, financing highly-competitive and excellent research through the State's Health Research and Development Strategy and facilitating greater participation in international R+D+I programmes and projects.
  • Conduct research within the National Health System (SNS) through its National Reference Centres, Research Institutes, Foundations, Networks, Consortia and Platforms for Scientific and Technical Services
  • Manage, develop and offer groundbreaking scientific and technical services throughout the country for the prevention and control of transmissible and non-transmissible diseases, environmental health, bio-products and others that may be harmful to public health.
  • Offer scientific and technical advisory services to support decision-making on healthcare technologies and services in the National Health System.
  • Develop educational programmes aimed at the entire National Health System and provide health information and scientific documentation services.

ISCIII depends from two ministries, the Ministry of Science and Ministry of Health.

Contact person for health information portal
João Forjaz
Governance and legal framework
Legal framework and institutional responsibilities

Responsabilities for health policy are shared between the national governance level (including the Ministry of health) and regional governing. To facilitate cooperation between the and regional level government, regular meeting are met within the frame of the Interterriorial Council of the National Health System, with representatives of the Ministry of health and  from all Spanish regions.

The Ministry of Health has recently created (September 2020) a General Secretariat of Digital Health, Information and Innovation of the National Health System, and a General Directorate of Digital Health and Information Systems for the National Health System.

There is a  Digital Strategy of the National Health system, aiming to improve the health of all people in all places through the development and accelerated adoption of digital health solutions for healthcare and the development of infrastructures and applications that allow healthcare professionals to use data to promote the health and well-being of citizens,

All these initiatives will help to advance towards a unified public health information system that brings together data from the entire National Health System.

Health information strategy

Currently, there is no formal Health Information Strategy in Spain. However, the Ministry of Health is engaged in developing a National Data Space, as well as participating in the European Data Space.

The National health data space will supports and facilitate research and analysis of large data sets that serve as a basis for the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the field of health, as a fundamental tool of personalized medicine .

All stakeholders are covered with relevant legislation.

Health information sources and players
Main players (institutions)

The main players, who also act as information sources, are the Ministry of Health,  the health boards of the regional governments, and national players such as the Institute of Health Carlos III, the National Institute of Statistics and the  National Drug Agency. 

Data protection
National data/privacy protection regulation and specific data access policies

All national and regional data sources are regulated by ethical and privacy protection regulations, that define the concrete access policies for each case. 

Health information infrastructure and management
Health information infrastructure and management

The General Secretariat for Digital Health, Information and Innovation of the National Health System is formed by: the  General Directorate of Digital Health and Information Systems for the National Health System; the Technical Cabinet; the General Subdirectorate for Project Management and Innovation; and the General Subdirectorate for Health Information. They all belong to the Ministry of Health.

Existence of a unique patient identifier or general personal identifier?
Updated on 27 April 2023