Portugal is a very popular EU country among expats. One of the important aspects to keep in mind when moving to Portugal is the healthcare system. Here's how the country's healthcare system works, who is eligible for medical care, and how to get health insurance
In 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked Portugal as the 12th best healthcare system in the world. Tourists and expats who go to Portugal can count on decent medical care, because the health care system in Portugal is adapted for immigrants.
How is the healthcare system in Portugal organized? Does Portugal have universal health care? How can an expat get help? Details in this article.
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Health care system of Portugal
The National Health Service in Portugal is called Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS) and is funded by the state. Basic Portugal medical care is provided through local and regional health centers and public hospitals. They offer all types of medical care, including dental services. Residents of Portugal have full access to SNS on the same level as citizens of the country.
You can register in the SNS system at the medical center, for this you need to provide documents confirming your place of residence. If you are a non-EU citizen, you will also need a social security number.
Children under 18 and people over 65 receive medical care completely free of charge. The rest of the citizens have to pay the patient's contribution, which is usually not very high. Medicines provided by the hospital during hospitalization are free, emergency care is also mostly free.
Private healthcare system in Portugal
There are many private health care facilities in Portugal. A pleasant advantage is that the cost of services here is much lower than in many other countries of the world.
In comparison, a private health insurance policy in Portugal costs only €120 per month. However, the final cost of insurance depends on the age and health of the insured person.
The joint work of the public and private sectors of health care has significantly improved the state of the system in recent years - many new hospitals have been opened, a network of long-term care has been created and the center of primary care has been reorganized.
Features of insurance for different categories of foreigners in Portugal
• Insurance for Golden Visa in Portugal
Foreigners traveling to Portugal for a Golden Visa must have a travel insurance policy
purchased in their country of origin. The document must state that it is valid in Portugal. After obtaining a golden visa, the investor will have access to the Portuguese National Health Service (SNS). However, to use the service, you will need to register in advance. In addition, foreigners with a golden visa can purchase a private health insurance policy.
• Insurance for D7 visa holders in Portugal
The D7 visa, also known as a retirement visa or passive income visa, is a great option for individuals who are planning to move to Portugal but do not want to make a large investment in the country's economy. In order to issue this entry permit, a foreigner must submit proof of having a medical insurance policy
for one year.
A D7 residence permit is usually issued for two years, after which it can be extended for another three years. Once the health insurance policy you purchased for the visa has expired, applicants are eligible to use the SNS services, but you will need to complete pre-registration. In addition, foreigners can purchase private health insurance. Private health insurance gives access to private clinics, hospitals and doctors, so this policy is also a good insurance option.
• Insurance for EU citizens in Portugal
Citizens of the European Union (EU) in Portugal do not need to worry about insurance, as their healthcare in the country is covered by mutual agreements. EU citizens will simply need to bring their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to the hospital and show it to the staff to receive free treatment. The European Health Insurance Card entitles you to the necessary medical care in EU/EEA member states and Switzerland.
EU residents can also get help in many private clinics throughout Portugal. They are relatively inexpensive - an appointment with a general practitioner costs about 40 euros.
• Insurance for non-EU residence permit holders (expat healthcare portugal)
If you live and work in Portugal and are not covered by reciprocal health care agreements with your country, you have two options - you can enroll in the social insurance system or buy a private health insurance plan.
• Insurance for tourists in Portugal
Anyone applying for a visa to Portugal will need travel insurance
. Short-term visitors with a Schengen visa must have a minimum health insurance of €30,000, valid not only in Portugal, but throughout the Schengen area. Those who do not need a visa to enter Portugal do not need to have travel insurance, although it is strongly recommended.
Medical services for children in Portugal
Children can use medical services in Portugal for free. Payment for services received is covered by the Portuguese National Health Service (SNS). Children undergo regular health checks from birth and have access to all examinations, vaccinations and medical care. Portugal has a national vaccination system that is part of the SNS. This includes vaccinations against hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, measles, mumps and rubella.
Medical tourism in Portugal
Portugal is becoming an increasingly popular country for medical tourism, because the country has an excellent ratio of the price and quality of medical services compared to other countries. Healthcare in Portugal meets the highest international standards. Medical workers have a high level of training, and the facilities are equipped with the most modern equipment.
The health care system of Portugal is well developed, expats and tourists can count on a high level of medical services in the country.
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