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All You Need To Know About Healthcare When You Move To Portugal

Life in Portugal is great, according to the Expat Insider 2017 report which claimed that the Portuguese have the best quality of life in the world. This accolade was awarded to the country after factors, including the country’s healthcare, were reviewed by thousands of respondents.

Therefore, if you’re considering moving overseas and finding a home in Portugal, how do you ensure you receive the best quality healthcare?




Your responsibilities

When you move to Portugal permanently, be sure to register as a resident with the Portuguese authorities. From there, you’ll receive a residency certificate which will allow you to register with a local state-run GP. All expats who obtain Portuguese residency must secure a National Health user card from their local health centre to qualify for free healthcare. And failing to do this, may mean you have to utilize the private health care system instead. It’s wise to carry this card around with you at all times, too, as you never know when you will need it.

Working in Portugal

If your work has led to you being posted in Portugal for an indefinite time, then you’re unlikely to have a Portuguese residency order. However, just like everyone else in the country, you’re entitled to healthcare as and when you require it. According to the NHS, British residents who work for a UK company but are based in Portugal will, in most cases, be covered by the UK for the cost of their healthcare abroad. Although, you should always ensure you have you have your European Health Care Insurance Card (EHIC) on you. It’s also worth protecting yourself against medical conditions sustained overseas by taking out health insurance. By doing this, you can be sure that all medical costs and fees will be covered and that you’ll receive expert care when you need it the most.

What to consider

Portugal offers both private and public healthcare services for EU and non-EU expats. Individuals aged under 18 years and seniors aged 65 and over qualify for free public healthcare. However, unlike the UK’s NHS system where appointments and tests are typically free of charge, you’ll have to pay a contribution for some services. Another factor to consider is the language barrier. In areas where the expat community is high, such as in the Algarve, you’re more likely to meet bilingual medical staff than in less expat populated areas.

Living in Portugal provides the thousands of expats who flock to the country each year with an exceptional quality of life. However, when you’re moving overseas it’s essential that you’re medically prepared for any eventuality. Therefore, all expats should ensure they get their residency status and paperwork sorted as soon as they make their move to Portugal.

5 thoughts on “All You Need To Know About Healthcare When You Move To Portugal

  1. Does anyone know if type 1 diabetics have to pay for their treatment and related prescrptions my daughter is 33yrs of age and is coming out with us also do cancer patients have to pay ?

      1. Don’t have and never will have a facebook account, is there another way of finding out, have tried several expat forums but to no avail

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