Find out about public health in Portugal

Is there a public health system in Portugal?

The answer is yes. The National Health System, SNS, is the public health system in Portugal, and it is very different from what we find here in Brazil.

The main differences are: there are fees for consultations and exams, and, in Portuguese lands, there is a family doctor, and he is the one who will make the first contact with the patient, there called a user.

Purpose of family doctors

As the professional accompanies the family, it facilitates the diagnosis and prevention of preexisting, hereditary or congenital diseases, since he has the family health history.

Another important function of the family doctor is, as necessary, to refer the user to a consultation with a specialist.

Family doctors x population growth

In the capital and in large cities, it is increasingly difficult to find a family doctor, as population growth is increasing, so that about 10% of the Portuguese population does not have this support. However, every baby born in the country is automatically assigned a family doctor who works in the area where the child resides.


The price of the public health service in Portugal

As already mentioned, another very different point in relation to public health in Brazil is that services are charged in Portugal. The values ​​are usually negligible and their main function is to avoid inopportune queries.
A consultation with the family doctor costs around 4.5€, with a specialist, the user must disburse an amount close to 7€.

The highest amounts are generally charged in hospitals, where the cost for a basic emergency is close to €14. In the case of a surgical emergency, the cost can reach €16 and, in the case of a multipurpose surgical emergency, where there is a need for intervention by doctors from different areas, the price can start from €18.

In addition, some exams may have a difference to be charged, however, since 2021, all those prescribed in health centers are exempt from fees.


Who is entitled to the public health system in Portugal

It is important to remember that not all people in the country are entitled to the public health system.
In the case of Brazilian citizens, everyone has access to the system, provided they meet one of the two prerequisites below:

Be enrolled in the PB4, a bilateral agreement that guarantees that any of its holders have access to emergency services. It is important to note that both residents and travelers in this case have the same coverage.

Through the Statute of Equal Rights, which grants any foreign citizen the rights of a native, from routine consultations to more complex exams and care.


Medicines and public health in Portugal

In addition to medical services, the public health system in Portugal offers a medication subsidy program, where the government pays for part of the medication and the user pays for another.

With regard to medication, in Portugal, co-payment between the user and the government is divided into levels that can vary from 15% to 90% off the cost of the medication.

Understand how it works:

– Level A: are hormonal and immunomodulatory drugs and the user can have up to 90% discount on their value.
– Level B: the drugs belonging to this segmentation are for cardiovascular and anti-infective treatments, and the discount can be up to 69%.
– Scale for pensioners: this is a special scale, where the discount for category A can reach 95%, and 15% for category B. It is worth remembering that for pensioners, the discounts are cumulative.

Another factor that is important to understand is that, in Portugal, the scale is defined according to the pathology.

Also read: discover how to get your Portuguese Citizenship

Now that you already know how public health works in Portugal, get in touch with us and learn more about how it is possible to acquire your Portuguese nationality.


Source: Porto Cidadania Portuguesa



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