• Print


Brief historical summary

Despite the growing development of the healthcare system in our country (new hospitals provided with higher technology, increase in asepsis and sterilization and creation of intensive care units), we were unfortunately losing too many lives on the road.
The need for an out-of-hospital emergency system resulted from the high number of fatalities that happened between the place where the accident or heart attack occurred and the arrival to the hospital.
Offering patients assistance within the so-called “emergency golden half hour” became the objective of all advanced healthcare systems, which, in spite of the lack of experience in this respect, shared some common objectives:

  • It was necessary to go out into the streets. Patient assistance could not wait until arrival to the hospital.
  • Appropriate resources were needed: equipped vehicles, people with specific training...
  • Coordination between the alert recipient and the resources was needed.

In Catalonia, it was decided to create different models of response:


Initiative of the Catalan Institute of Health (CIH) to create the Centre Coordinador de la Regió Sanitària Costa de Ponent (Coordination Centre of the Health Region of Costa de Ponent), located at Ciutat Sanitària i Universitària de Bellvitge (CSUB), to coordinate the demand for the attendance of emergencies near the health centre.
Creation of the Emergency Medical Coordination Service (SCEM) pilot programme, which lasted for 9 months before its consolidation, eventually becoming the Emergency Medical Service (SEM).


Following an agreement between the Barcelona City Council and the recently created Servei Català de la Salut (Catalan Health Service), and with the aim of optimizing all resources, Barcelona created its own attention mechanism for emergencies, the Servei Coordinador d’Urgències de Barcelona (Emergencies Coordination Service of Barcelona) (SCUB-061). It is accessible by dialing 061 and includes existing mechanisms such as the Mobile Emergency Health Care Service (SAMU) and the Special Emergencies Service (SEU) of the primary care mechanisms of the city.    

Historia i evolució del SEM 0


The SEM project becomes SEM, SA, a public company with 100% capital of the Catalan Health Service (CatSalut).

Historia i evolució del SEM 1


The Servei Coordinador d’Urgències de Barcelona (SCUB-061, Barcelona Urgencies Coordination Service) becomes SCUB, SA, a public company with 60% of its capital belonging to the Department of Health and the remaining 40% to the Barcelona City Council.


The new Centre Coordinador Sanitari de Tarragona (CECOSAT) (Health Coordination Center of Tarragona) is created for the regions of Tarragona and Terres de l’Ebre, and depends on the public company Gestió i Prestació de Serveis de Salut (GPSS) (Health Services Management and Assistance) of CatSalut, which is also accessible by dialing 061.


SEMSA creates the Centre Coordinador d’Urgències i Emergències Sanitàries (CCURES-061) (Coordination centre for Health Emergencies), which extends the 061 telephone line that gives access to the activation of assistance resources throughout Catalonia.
Our health information and advice telephone service, Sanitat Respon, a pioneer in Spain, is put in place, providing added value to the Catalan health system and making it more accessible to citizens.   


SEMSA absorbs the activity of SCUBSA-061 and CECOSAT (GPSS), unifying all public service for dealing with both regular and out-of-hospital emergencies in Catalonia.


In June, and in accord with the Catalan Health Service Directive 03/2006, a new model of emergency medical transportation, accompanied by a new corporate image, is deployed in Catalonia.

SEMSA is moved to a new central office, located on Pablo Iglesias Street, in Hospitalet de Llobregat, thereby unifying all of its installations and creating a single Coordination Centre for all of Catalonia. 

Historia i evolució del SEM 2


Since 1998, the telephone number 112 is the only emergency number active in Europe. Law 9/2007, drafted with the participation of the Department of Health, holds the Government of Catalonia responsible for the implementation and regulation of public service assistance for emergency calls through the creation of the Centre d’Atenció i Gestió de Trucades d’Urgència 112 (CAGTU-112) (Support and Handling of Emergency Calls Centre) of Catalonia.
In July 2010, the operations coordination room in Reus is put in place. Integrated into CAGTU 112, it manages and coordinates urgent requests for emergency assistance in the geographic area of Tarragona and Terres de l’Ebre.      

Historia i evolució del SEM 2010


In accordance with the convention collaboration framework regarding emergency interventions involving public health, signed in conjunction with the City Council of Barcelona, the health operations and coordination room of Barcelona is put in place for managing basic life support (SVB) and advanced life support (SVA) resources that SEM has allocated throughout the city.

Historia i evolució del SEM 2011


In October, the 061 CatSalut Respon telephone number is brought into operation as a result of the joint of Sanitat Respon and 061, aiming both to optimize resources and to improve efficiency.

Historia i evolucio SEM 2012
Update:  07.05.2013