Advantage Portugal

Health Matters

Health Systems

The National Health Service in Portugal is called the Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS) and is overseen by the Ministry of Health. The SNS provides healthcare by means of Health Centres and Public Hospitals.

EU nationals are also beneficiaries of the SNS under applicable EU legislation.

Registration with the SNS

You should register with the Health Centre in the area where you live. You need to present a valid identity document (identity card or passport), a social security beneficiary’s card and a document proving that you are a resident in Portugal.

If you are a EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss national, you can use your European Health Insurance Card until your SNS user’s card is issued. The EHIC facilitates access to medical assistance for those citizens travelling to another Member State and should be requested from your national health insurance institutions before leaving for another EU country.

The European Health Insurance Card does not provide for cases in which a patient intentionally decides to have medical treatment in another EU country, including Portugal.. In this case you should ask for a previous authorization.