Hospitals in Portugal

Hospitals in Portugal

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If you need a hospital in Portugal, or want to find the nearest one to you, see our list of hospitals in Portugal below, plus the conditions for visiting a Portuguese hospital as a foreigner and hospital costs.

You can visit a hospital in Portugal for emergency treatment or to access doctors and specialists in Portugal. There are around 200 hospitals in Portugal, with a mixture of public and private hospitals. The quality of care in Portuguese hospitals is good by international standards, and Portugal was rated 12th in the world in terms of healthcare quality in a study by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In an emergency foreigners will not be denied treatment in a Portuguese hospital, however, once stablised they will typically need to show some form of health insurance to cover costs. Foreigners who are official residents in Portugal will be covered by the Portuguese healthcare system, while visitors will need to have private health insurance.

Before you visit a hospital in Portugal, read this guide to ensure your hospital costs will be covered by either your state Portuguese health insurance or private insurance, plus you can find a list of hospitals in Lisbon, Porto and around Portugal.

This guide to hospitals in Portugal explains:

  • Types of hospitals in Portugal
  • Conditions for visiting a Portuguese hospital
  • Recommended hospitals in Portugal
  • A list of hospitals in Lisbon, Algarve, Porto and around Portugal
  • Hospital costs in Portugal
  • Visiting a Portuguese hospital in an emergency.

Hospitals in Portugal

There are both public and private hospitals (hospitais) in Portugal, with roughly an equal number of each. Public hospitals in Portugal are part of healthcare offered by the Portuguese National Health Service (Servico Nacional de Saude, or SNS). Many of the private hospitals in Portugal are run by large private healthcare organisations. There exists some public-private partnerships in Portuguese hospitals, where some of the private hospitals in Portugal are contracted to offer public healthcare services through the SNS.

Hospitals in Portugal generally offer emergency treatment, a range of specialist treatment for outpatients, maternity services, nursing, post-operative care, and care for those with terminal illnesses. If you are admitted to a Portuguese hospital, your treatment will be controlled by the hospital doctor on duty.

The range of available specialist treatments vary between hospitals in Portugal, with facilities in large cities, such as hospitals in Lisbon, being better equipped in terms of treatments and quality than hospitals in rural areas. English-speaking staff in Portuguese hospitals is fairly common in the cities. However, if you are unsure and don't speak much Portuguese, you can see our list of Portuguese medical terms to help out.

As is the case in many countries, the public hospitals in Portugal are cheaper but typically there is a longer wait for non-emergency treatment, in some cases up to several weeks.

Conditions for visiting a hospital in Portugal

The SNS healthcare system in Portugal is residence-based and can be accessed by all official residents, including foreign residents, paid for by social insurance contributions of employees. Residents are issued with a SNS health card which should be presented on any visit to a hospital in Portugal.

Non-residents and those visiting on a short-term Portuguese visa will need to take out private health insurance. Those on a temporary visit from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Unless it's an emergency procedure, you will need to be referred by a doctor for treatment at a Portuguese hospital – otherwise you might have to pay. Those without any form of health insurance will be able to get emergency medical treatment if needed, but will have to pay hospital costs once their condition has stabilised.

Read more in our guides to public healthcare in Portugal, health insurance in Portugal and the EHIC, depending on your situation.

Recommended hospitals in Portugal

To get recommendations on the best hospitals in Portugal, you can try asking other expats on Expatica's community forum. The SNS also provides information on the quality of hospitals, including ratings, waiting times and more.

You can also check the world hospital ranking list of best hospitals in Portugal. The current highest ranking hospital in Portugal is the Dona Estefania Central Hospital in Lisbon, which is ranked 189th in the world.

List of hospitals in Portugal

From around 200 hospitals in Portugal, below you can find a list of the main hospitals in Portugal, including in Lisbon, Porto, Algarve, Setubal and some other locations. You can also search for hospitals in Portugal on the SNS website here (in Portuguese; select 'Cuidados de Saúde Hospitalares' to start your search).

Hospitals in Lisbon


Hospitals in Porto


Hospitals in Algarve


Hospitals in Setubal


Hospitals elsewhere in Portugal

Hospital costs in Portugal

For residents, costs of hospitals in Portugal are subsidised by the SNS but patients are expected to make a contribution unless they qualify for an exemption (such as children or retirees).

Under your public insurance, you will have to make a small contribution towards the costs of:

  • consultations – usually EUR 7.50
  • emergency treatment – from EUR 15–20
  • overnight stays – EUR 25 per night.


There are also charges (up to a maximum EUR 17.50) for specialist medical treatment, for example, scans, x-rays and tests. A full list of hospital costs in Portugal is available (in Portuguese) here.

If you are under 18, a pensioner or your income is below the earnings threshold, you will be exempt from paying hospital costs in Portugal.

If you are treated in a Portuguese hospital and are not covered by insurance, you will need to pay the treatment fees yourself. Hospital fees in Portugal can be more than EUR 60 for an outpatient visit and more than EUR 135 for an overnight stay in a public Portuguese hospital.

Portuguese hospitals in an emergency

If you need emergency medical treatment, hospitals in Portugal will treat you even if you are not a resident and don't have health insurance. Emergency treatment in a Portuguese hospital is a right available to all regardless of residence status, however, once your condition has stabilised you will need to show proof of residence status or health insurance – or pay the bill.

The main emergency number in Portugal is 112, which connects to ambulance, police and fire services. See our guide to emergency numbers in Portugal for a list of useful numbers.

Portugal hospital information

List of hospitals and information about hospitals in other countries

 

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Updated 2017.

 
 


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