Healthcare if you live and work in Portugal

Healthcare if you live and work in Portugal

Everyone who’s registered as a resident can also register to access the Portuguese national health service (SNS) on the same basis as a Portuguese citizen.

This is the same if you’re employed, self-employed or not working.

If you live in Portugal or move there before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Portugal will stay the same from 1 January 2021 for as long as you remain resident.

How to register:

Before registering for healthcare you need to register as a resident.

If you’re employed, you’ll also need your social security number (NISS). Get this from your employer, or request it from the tax office if you’re self-employed.

To register for healthcare, go to your local health centre (centro de saúde). You’ll need your:

  • residence certificate
  • passport
  • tax identification number (NIF) from your local tax office (finanças)
  • social security number (NISS) if you’re employed or self-employed

Once you’ve registered you’ll get a health number (número de utente de saúde). Show this when you visit a doctor in the state healthcare system or a private doctor as it affects prescription fees.

How much you’ll pay:

You pay standard user fees (taxas moderadoras) for state healthcare services in Portugal as do citizens.

This means that you’ll pay a fixed amount depending on the service. Your GP in Portugal will be able to tell you what you’ll pay for any treatment.

How much you pay will depend on what you’re being treated for and how you’ve accessed the healthcare system. The Portuguese ministry of health publishes details on user fees (in Portuguese).

Examples of what you’ll pay are:

  • 5 euros for a GP appointment
  • 15 euros to go to A&E

You’ll need to pay something towards the cost of any prescribed medicine.

You may be exempt from paying fees for some services, prescriptions and treatments, for example if you’re:

  • pregnant
  • a child under 12
  • unemployed

Find out more about paying user fees on the SNS website (in Portuguese) or speak to your GP in Portugal.

Dental care is not usually covered by the Portuguese national health service.

If you choose to use the private medical facilities  in Portugal such as HPA Saude in Vilamoura it is still worth obtaining your "número de utente de saúde" as when your private Dr issues you a prescription you will pay a reduced price at the pharmacy compared to those who are not enrolled with SNS.

NPMS are able to offer a variety of advice to our Vilamoura Property Management Clients

To contact us email:

  • Vilamoura Property Management
  • Vilamoura Long Term Rentals
  • Vilamoura Short Term Rentals


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