In Portugal, official services for providing healthcare to the population are organised as the National Health Service. In addition to this public service, there are freely available private health institutions and professionals.
The hospital network is made up of modern and well-equipped units, distributed throughout the country, which have long-standing relationships with the major international insurance companies.
In order to make overseas patients feel more comfortable, hospitals are implementing personalised patient care and monitoring services, with English as the language of communication.
Portugal also has an Integrated Medical Emergency System, which guarantees the fast and accurate provision of healthcare to accident victims or anyone suffering a sudden illness, and rapid response times by the emergency services (did you know that average emergency call response times currently stand at 7 seconds?).
The World Health Report by the World Health Organisation awarded the Portuguese health system number 12 in its ranking.
Where to go?
If you need to use the National Health Service, remember that you can get medical assistance at the local Health Centre nearest to you. In emergency situations, you can use the Hospital Casualty Services (serious trauma, poisoning, burns, heart attacks, thrombosis, respiratory problems, etc.).
In the event of an accident or emergency, phone the European Emergency Number: 112. There is also an information hotline that you can phone to clarify any doubts you may have about health - Linha Saúde 24 – 808242424.
If you are a national of one of the 27 European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you must show your European Health Insurance Card (issued in your country of origin) and your passport or identification document in order to gain access to free or low-cost healthcare.
Overseas citizens holding Portuguese residency permits must be registered at a Health Centre and must hold a User's Card, which may be obtained at the Health Centre by presenting a document showing proof of residence authorisation.
If you need to go to Hospital, the national network of units belonging to the National Health Service is available to you. If you have private health insurance, check whether your company has an agreement with a private hospital outside the public service.