European Health Insurance Card
Nationals of all the EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland may obtain a European Health Insurance Card which is issued by each country’s national health insurance provider and is valid for public healthcare assistance in Portugal only for temporary stays.
This service is provided at Gabinete do Munícipe, located at Praça General Humberto Delgado, nº 266.
Contacts: +351 222 090 400, or the Parish Council of your area of residence, except that of Campanhã.
Note: No fees are owed for this service.
Once you have a NISS (Portuguese social security number) you can register at the Segurança Social Direta (direct social security online) and, after you gain access to it, request your European Health Insurance Card. Alternatively, you can submit your card request with the appropriate form at a Social Security office.
Once you become a resident, you can register at your local Health Centre (Centro de Saúde) - a public service provided by the National Health Service (SNS) - and obtain a User Card (Cartão de Utente) which will give you access to healthcare assistance and medication prescription.
If you want to use the National Health Service for medical assistance you should address your local Health Centre, which will forward you to specialized assistance if necessary. In case of emergency you can use the public Hospital network. You must show your Cartão de Utente and flat rate user fees will apply.
For documents required to register at your local Health Centre, please visit appropriate webpage of the general health directorate.
You have the right to choose an SNS family doctor for you and your family among those who work at the Health Centre you are registered at. If the doctor you choose has reached a maximum number of patients, you will be required to choose another doctor. Should all doctors in your Health Centre be unavailable to take new patients, you can enter a waiting list. Until you are assigned your Family Doctor you can still use all SNS services.
If you choose to hire a private health insurance, two models are most common, or a combination of the two:
- Either you pay the totality of the visit fee and get reimbursed by the insurance company (minus a percentage of the fee).
- Or you consult a physician within the insurer’s network and only pay a discounted fee.
There is a number of private hospitals and clinics, some with comprehensive healthcare services and English-speaking assistance.
For further information, please read out Safety section.