Subscribe Now

National Health Care - Foreigners rights ensured

UPDATE Article Ed. 5 2019 - 26-09-2019

National Health Care - Foreigners rights ensured

In Portugal it is a crime to refuse health care to anyone at the National Health Service. Foreigners who are here, whether they are residents or not, can go to the health centre or hospital, just like any Portuguese citizen. However, not everyone pays the same amount for the medical care. Non-residents, for instance, will pay the total cost of care, except in situations that may affect public health, such as communicable diseases, urgent care and care during pregnancy and childbirth.

According to a recent DECO Proteste article, they confirm that people who have residence permits/card/certificate can access the services in the same way as Portuguese citizens, that is, they have the right to medical assistance and reimbursement, paying the same user fees and benefit from equal exemptions.

For people who have been here for less than 3 months, the tourist "statute" is in force. If they belong to the European Union, Iceland or Switzerland, they have access to care under the same conditions as the Portuguese if they show the European Health Insurance Card – Portuguese nationals traveling to these territories have reciprocal rights. If they do not have a card or come from states without health agreements with Portugal, they may use the public health services, but they will have to pay for the care in full without reimbursement.

Foreign residents in Portugal who benefit from a social security system in another EU country, for example pensioners, must present the special national social security document called S1/E121 to their local Portuguese social security office (Segurança Social) and will then have access to health care just like Portuguese citizens. (More information on this is available in the afpop Information Bulletin P11, which can be downloaded from the afpop website or requested from the office) Minors can use the health service at no charge and vaccinations in the National Vaccination Plan are free for everyone, whatever their age.

We know that the language barrier can sometimes be a problem, especially in case of illness, but we have found that there is a simultaneous translation telephone line for 60 languages (808 257 257 for landline and 218 106 191 for a mobile) that can be used by users or professionals at any time. If the translators are busy, they will return the call later. For scheduled appointments, patients or professionals can pre-book the translation.

Sponsors
Alliance Partners
  • Medal Insurance
  • Algarve Resident
  • Blevins & Franks
  • Turismo de Portugal - Algarve
Associate Partners
  • Toldolanda
  • Golf for Greys
  • NCA Portugal
  • algarvedailynews.com
  • Mestre Raposa