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 established 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, read this guide to ensure your hospital costs will be covered by either your state Portuguese health insurance or private insurance. You can also find a list of hospitals in Lisbon, Porto and around Portugal.
This guide provided by Expatica explains what you need to know before visiting a hospital in Portugal:
- Types of hospitals in Portugal
- Conditions for visiting a Portuguese hospital
- Recommended hospitals
- A list of hospitals in Lisbon, Algarve, Porto and around Portugal
- Hospital costs in Portugal
- Visiting a Portuguese hospital in an emergency
There are both public and private hospitals (hospitais) in Portugal, with roughly an equal number of each. Public hospitals 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.
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.
Insurance for hospital treatment in Portugal
Non-EU residents not covered by public health insurance in Portugal will need to take out private health insurance. There are many private and international health insurance providers that offer coverage packages for medical treatment suitable for expats, including:
To get recommendations on the best hospitals in Portugal, you can try asking local experts on Expatica’s Ask the Expert service. The SNS 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.
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
- Dona Estefania Central Hospital
- Instituto Portugues de Oncologia
- Hospital da Luz
- CGC Genetics
- CUF Descobertas Hospital
- Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Ocidental
- Hospital de San Louis
- Clinica Das Conchas
- Clinica CUF Alvalade
- Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte
- Clinica CUF Belem
- Clinica CUF Torres Vedras
- Hospital de Sao Sebastiao
- Clinica CUF Mafra
- Lusiadas Saude
- Hospital de Egas Moniz
- Hospital de Sao Francisco Xavier
- Hospital Pulido Valente EPE
- Hospital de Santa Maria EPE
- Hospital Curry Cabral
- Hospital Julio de Matos
- Hospital dos Capuchos
- Instituto Portugues de Oncologia de Francisco Gentil
- Hospital de Sao Jose
- Hospital Done Estefania
- Hospital Cuf Descobertas AS
- Hospital St.Louis
- Hospital da Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa
- Hospital da Luz SA
- Hospital Particular de Lisboa
- Hospital Cuf Infante Santo
- Hospital de Ordem Terceira
- British Hospital
- British Hospital-Lisbon XXI SA
Hospitals in Porto
- Geral de Santo Antonio Central Hospital
- Clinica Central do Bonfim LDA
- Hospital CUF
- Hospital Central Especializado de Criancas Maria Pia
- Julio Dinis Maternity Hospital
- Instituto CUF
- Lusiadas Saude
Hospitals in Algarve
- Centro Hospitalar do Barlavento
- Hospital Particular
- HDF Hospital Distrito de Faral
- Clinica Luisiadas
- Hospital Distritas de Lagos
Hospitals in Setubal
Hospitals elsewhere in Portugal
- Central Hospital, Coimbra
- CHUC Central Hospital, University of Coimbra
- Centro Cirurgico de Coimbra
- Hospital Espirito Santo, Evora
- Hospital Misericordia de Evora
- Central Hospital, Alto Minho
- Cliria Hospital Privao de Aveiro
- Central Hospital, Baixo Alentejo
- Hospital de Braga
- Jose De Mello Saude, Carnaxid
- Clinical CUF Cascais
- Hospital District of Figueira da Foz
- Central Hospital, Leiria Pombal
- Central Hospital, Medio Tejo
- Central Hospital, Povoa de Varzim
- Central Hospital, Sao Joao
- Casa de Saude de Santa Filomena
- Hospital Distrital, Santarem
- Hospital CUF Infante, Santo
- Centro Hospitalar do Tamega e Sousa
- Hospital da Trofa
- Central Hospital, Vila Nova de Gaia
- Central Hospital, Vila Real
- Hospital de Sao Teotonio, Viseu
- HPA-Hospital Particular de Almada Lda
- Hospital de Santa Cruz
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 €7.50
- emergency treatment – from €15–20
- overnight stays – €25 per night.
There are also charges (up to a maximum €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 €60 for an outpatient visit and more than €135 for an overnight stay in a public Portuguese hospital.
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.