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Country-by-country guide

Accessing healthcare in Portugal

You will be treated on the same basis as a Portuguese resident. Remember, each country’s health system is different and might not include all the things you would expect to get free of charge from the NHS. This may mean that you have to make a patient contribution to the cost of your care.

It is important that you ensure you are treated by a state healthcare provider as you will not be covered for private healthcare. You should be particularly careful if the healthcare arrangements have been made by a hotel or travel representative.

Non-EEA nationals are covered in Portugal.

 

Where to get information while in Portugal

The Administracão Regional de Saúde will be able to provide information. They have several offices covering mainland Portugal. Maderia and the Azores are governed each by a separate branch.

Mainland Portugal
Administracão Regional de Saúde do Centro
Alameda Júlio Henriques
3000-457 COIMBRA

Telephone: 00351 239 796 800

E-mail: secretariado.ca@arscentro.min-saude.pt

Maderia
Telephone: 00351 291 236 525 or 00351 291 213 280

The Azores
Telephone: 00351 295 204 200

Emergency numbers

In case you find yourself in an emergency during your stay in Portugal, dial 112. You might want to save the number in your phone.

Treatment, coverage and costs

Doctors

State healthcare is provided without charge.

Dentists

State healthcare is provided without charge.

Hospital treatment

State healthcare is provided without charge.

Prescriptions

Pharmacies are available throughout Portugal. They are usually open from Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 1.00pm, and 3.00pm to 7.00pm. On weekends they are open from 9.00am to 1.00pm.

Lists of pharmacies providing 24-hour service is available from any regular pharmacy.

Ambulance

No information available.

Air ambulance

No information available.

 

Making healthcare arrangements in advance

The most common treatments or conditions that require advanced arrangements are listed below. For all other conditions or treatments, you should consult your doctor. Remember, for all treatments abroad you must present your EHIC.

Oxygen therapy

Ensure your EHIC is valid before you travel. In most cases you will have to use the authorised oxygen company for the country you are travelling to. You’ll also have to make your own arrangements, including arranging for permission from your hotel to deliver and install the equipment. There may also be additional costs that the EHIC will not cover.

Your home oxygen supplier is not required to provide a service outside the UK, however, most suppliers will be able to advices you on what to do. Your oxygen treatment clinic will organise your home oxygen supply from one of these suppliers:

Air Liquid: Call them on:

  • 0808 143 9991 for London
  • 0808 143 9992 for North West
  • 0808 143 9993 for East Midlands
  • 0808 143 9999 for South West

Baywater Healthcare: covers Yorkshire and Humberside, West Midlands and Wales. Call them on 0800 373 580. For more information visit the Baywater Healthcare website.

BOC: covers the East and North East of England. Call them on 0800 136 603.

Dolby Vivisol: covers the South of England. Call them on 0500 823 773.

The British Lung Foundation (BLF) may have additional oxygen contacts for the country you are travelling to. Their website offers general advice about how to make travel arrangements, including advice on:

Ensure you allow plenty of time to make all your arrangements before you travel.

Dialysis

You need to speak to the co-ordinator in your UK Dialysis Unit who will contact the dialysis unit in Portugal nearest to where you will be staying. The provision of dialysis will be subject to availability in Portugal.

Leisure or business - using your EHIC in Portugal

Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will enable you to access state provided healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed in order to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care provided the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth.

How to claim refunds

Reimbursements are claimed from the relevant branch of the Administracão Regional de Saúde.

Living in Portugal

If you're receiving a UK state pension, or in receipt of long-term incapacity benefit, you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for an S1, which you should then present to the Portuguese health authorities.

However, if you move to Portugal to live but not work and do not receive a UK benefit, you may be eligible for up to two-and-a-half years of state healthcare cover, paid for by the UK. In this case, you will need to apply for an S1.

For more details on how to apply for an S1, visit the  'Moving abroad' section.

How to register your S1

In both cases, you will need to contact the relevant branch of the Administracão Regional de Saúde. Additionally, you might be asked to provide a copy of the original S1 and a proof of identity.

Early retirees

From July 1 2014 you are no longer able to apply for residual S1 form.
If you already have a residual S1 this will not affect you – it will continue to be valid until its original expiry date. Find out more about the new rules.

Working in Portugal

This section applies if you have been issued with an E106, your posting is for less than two years and you are using an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access healthcare.

How to register your E106

You will need to contact the relevant branch of the Administracão Regional de Saúde. Additionally, you might be asked to provide a copy of the original E106 and a proof of identity.

How to register with a GP

No information available

Am I still eligible for treatment under the NHS?

UK citizens registered in another EEA country and using an E106 or E121 are not automatically eligible for free treatment in the UK.

You should also visit the 'Planned treatment abroad' section for detailed information.

 

Page last reviewed: 23/06/2011

Next review due: 23/06/2013

EHIC changes

You will no longer be able to claim a refund in the UK for most patient co-payments for treatment recieved after July 1 2014

Travel insurance

Having both travel insurance and a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will save you a lot of money in case of an emergency

Going abroad?

If you're travelling to an EEA country, make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

Beach safety

A holiday at the seaside is fun for the whole family. An RNLI lifeguard explains what to look out for to stay safe on the beach.

Media last reviewed: 01/08/2013

Next review due: 01/08/2015