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Portugal – Doctors

When moving to a new country, one of the most important things to take care of is your health. Finding a doctor you trust and can communicate with is essential for your wellbeing. In Portugal, the healthcare system is a mix of public and private sectors, and as such, there are several ways to find and register with a local doctor.

Finding a Doctor in Portugal

Through the National Health Service (SNS)

The National Health Service (SNS) in Portugal provides universal access to healthcare to all citizens and residents of Portugal. The SNS website has a search tool that allows you to find doctors, hospitals, and health centers by location, specialty, and type of service.

To register with a doctor through the SNS, you need to go to a health center with your identification documents and proof of residence. You will then be assigned a doctor who practices in that center.

Through Private Health Insurance

If you have private health insurance, you can use the insurance company’s list of healthcare providers to find a doctor. Private healthcare providers in Portugal include Cigna Global, Allianz Care, and Aetna International.


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You can also search for private doctors on the website of the Medical Association of Portugal, which lists all registered doctors and their specialties. Private doctors typically charge a fee for their services, which can be reimbursed by your insurance company if they have an agreement with the doctor.

Payment for Doctor’s Appointments in Portugal

National Health Service

If you are registered with a doctor through the SNS, doctor’s appointments are free of charge. However, you may be required to pay for some medical services, such as laboratory tests or prescription medications. The cost of these services is usually significantly lower than in the private sector.

Private Healthcare Insurance

If you have private healthcare insurance, the insurance company will cover the cost of doctor’s appointments and medical services, up to the limits of your policy. You may need to pay a co-payment or deductible depending on your policy.

Transferring Medical Documents in Portugal from Abroad

If you are moving to Portugal from abroad, it is important to bring your medical records with you. This can include information about any pre-existing conditions, medications you are taking, and previous medical procedures.

To transfer medical documents to a doctor in Portugal, you should contact the doctor’s office and ask them about their preferred method of receiving medical records. Some doctors may require original copies of medical records, while others may accept digital copies sent by email or through a secure online portal.

It is important to note that if your medical records are in a language other than Portuguese, you may need to have them translated by a certified translator before they can be used in Portugal.

Finding a doctor you trust and feel comfortable with is essential for your wellbeing when living in a new country. In Portugal, there are several ways to find and register with a doctor, whether through the National Health Service or private healthcare providers. Doctor’s appointments can be free of charge or covered by private healthcare insurance, depending on your situation. When transferring medical records to a doctor in Portugal from abroad, it is important to contact the doctor’s office to determine the best method of delivery and whether any translations are necessary.


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