Take important steps to know the healthcare available in Portugal before you choose to study there. International students often find their home country’s system of healthcare much different than their potential host country and it is essential to be prepared for unexpected health problems and to be ready to seek medical treatment.
The Portuguese healthcare system includes three organizations of healthcare that overlap:
The NHS branch of healthcare is financially maintained through the general taxation of the public. Most hospitals are part of this system, though the other two organizational systems utilize those facilities despite their separation. The primary healthcare system is the second one listed above, the subsystems. They are a mix of public and private healthcare alternatives, with funding also being a mixture between for-profit and not-for-profit providers. This is often related to the profession of the person wishing to contribute financially to one organization or another. The last, voluntary, is entirely private and costs more for the individual. Choosing this will result in more specialized and selective care, while paying more for the coverage desired.
For legal foreign residents the healthcare system is no nightmare. If visitors register with the Health Centre the basic accidents and illnesses will be covered. However, some individuals prefer to get private health insurance to cover them instead.
Students from within the EU who are researching whether or not to study in Portugal will find that they have healthcare covered under the agreements made within the EU. It would also be beneficial to complete the E111 form at the post office to submit if you ever need to visit a clinic or hospital while in Portugal.
Under the healthcare system of Portugal long-term residents are given free basic health care. This includes:
If you are not part of the European Union but have plans to study in Portugal for a long time, it is important to know the qualifications for utilizing the healthcare system in Portugal. Those on a work visa are able to use the healthcare system if they are deducting social security contributions from their paycheck.
Though this healthcare system has stark contrasts with other national healthcare systems in the world, you can expect to receive excellent care and treatment. As a student there is ready coverage available and the Health Centers are convenient places to obtain unexpected care. Be aware of the differences in care, location and funding of the healthcare organization you choose to use.