Healthcare in Portugal should be on the top of your list when moving to Portugal.
when making the step to settle whether to start a new working life or to retire, healthcare is something that plays heavy on the minds of those at retirement age, but often overlooked by younger people.
If you are in a transition period and have not quiet decided to settle you will have a 90 day period in which to stay in Portugal before having to register as a resident. During this period you will need to have your own healthcare insurance in place, this does not mean having to choose solely private healthcare services, you will still be able to use the service of the local healthcare service (Servišo Nacional de Sa˙de) (SNS) in a medical emergency.
Telephone number for all emergencies in Portugal is 112. If you have a non emergency and are just feeling unwell you can visit the local (centro de Sa˙de) medical centre these will be clearly sign posted in every major town and are open normally 8:00 am 8:00 pm, you may have to make an appointment and given a time to see the doctor later that day, Passport or national ID card is required, if you are told No! Then this means all appointment slots have been taken and you will need to return the following day. You will be asked to pay a small fee ( Under €10)for the appointment slot, most appointments will normally be for non serous medical cases and can be treat by either a prescription or at the medical centre by the resident nurse. If your illness is more serious the doctor will automatically refer you to the nearest hospital either by ambulance or a referral letter.
UK & European reciprocal healthcare agreement
For UK residents visiting Portugal with a EHIC card (formally a E111) healthcare card your card will be valid for 90 days during you stay in Portugal and will still be recognized by Portugal after Brexit until its expiry date. Other EU Citizens/resident will have the same entitlement as in their own EU country for 90 days whilst in Portugal but must produce their ID card or Passport-
Since the UK’s departure from the EU the EHIC healthcare insurance card will be fazed out and a new GHIC (Global health Insurance card) will start to be rolled out and will cover chronic or existing illnesses as well as emergencies. As before the new GHIC card will not cover you Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.
Becoming a Portuguese resident into the healthcare system.
Now you have taken the plunge and decided to settle in Portugal, no doubt you will already have applied for your residency? (See Below)
You now need to go to your local doctors surgery/medical centre (centro de Sa˙de) you will need to take a valid passport and your new resident certificate which will have your address on it to show that you live local and this is the right (centro de Sa˙de) for you area of residence.You will then be given a piece of paper with your health number on it called a (N║ de Untente de Sa˙de) this is your permanent health number and you need to show it every time you make a doctors appointment. You will eventually be sent a health card once your details have been processed.
If you are on long term prescription drugs it is best for you to obtain a letter from your own countries doctor to verify you medication. You will need to make a appointment to see a doctor who will discuss you long term prescriptions these are normally given as a 3 month supply and it is then just a simple case of dropping off your old prescription at the reception desk and picking up the new one in a couple of days. (Portugal has a annual contract scheme with health care workers including doctors, in some cases there are often a shortage of doctors who can often be spread around more than one district and often overworked) it is well advised to put in your repeat prescription at least 3 weeks before you need it, if your current one is still valid they will take a photocopy and return you the original.
Portugal has an extensive, tax-funded public healthcare system, meaning that most medication will be subsidised to you at a fraction of the cost, these can be offset against your personal tax allowance. The SNS service (Servišo Nacional de Sa˙de) provide most essential medical services free of charge, non-essential services including regular treatments such as physiotherapy are available for a small payment.
Becoming a Resident in Portugal in 2021
This article will guide you through the simple steps to avoid hefty fines from ranging from €500 to €1,500 for non compliance or overstaying you allowance days, (90 days in any 180 for UK citizens and US citizens 90 days with a 3 months valid passport containing a 2 blank pages) on becoming legal resident status of Portugal, you will then be allowed free travel across Europe, staying in each country no longer than 90 days.
If you plan to stay longer than 90 days and do not wish to become a resident then you can apply to SEF(Servišo de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) (we do not cover this subject on this page)to find out more please visit the official SEF website:https://imigrante.sef.pt/en/prorrogar-permanencia/
Once you decide on a permanent move to Portugal you will first need a fiscal number know as a nib this is your tax number and without it becomes impossible to purchase properties,cars and anything of high value, even long term property rental. This can be obtained in person by going to your local city/town finance office (Conselho das Finanšas P˙blicas)and is given on the same day of application ( Fees apply).
You will then need to go to your local City/town CamÔra office (Town hall) you will need the following documents.
Proof of address (this can be a bank statement utility bill,house deed (caderneta).
Proof of income or means of support at least €7,620 per year.( This can be a copy of a bank statement for the last 6 month’s.
You will be given a short interview about 10 minutes and asked your status as well as some general questions and after paying the €15 fee you will be given your new residence certificate, it is that simple