The Barcelona-headquartered agency won the brief in a pitch involving six rivals, according to account director Florita Vallcaneras. She could not say whether Sanitas' former PR shop Pan y Agua re-pitched for the business.
A six-strong team will oversee the account from RYA's Madrid office, led by office manager Isabel Lozano and reporting to Sanitas communications director Yolanda Erburu.
RYA will handle comms for the group's five divisions including health insurance, elderly care, hospital care, labour insurance and diversification.
Sanitas is part of international healthcare insurer Bupa, and Spain's second-biggest private healthcare provider after Adeslas. Its health division has 1.44 million clients and an annual turnover exceeding Euros 600 million.
It is working to reposition itself as an integrated insurance company and wants to raise its 16% market share in Spain, according to Vallcaneras. 'Sanitas wants to be seen as a socially responsible integrated health company,' she said. RYA will launch an aggressive promotional campaign to communicate the opening of new treatment centres, new products and the company's support for non-profit social and environmental organisations.