Home Healthcare Healthcare Services Hospitals in Portugal
Last update on June 09, 2021

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 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 Organization.

In an emergency, foreigners won’t 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:

COVID-19 in Portugal

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone. Many expats find themselves separated from family and loved ones in their home countries. As a foreigner, it is also sometimes difficult to find critical information regarding coronavirus infection rates, local measures and restrictions, and now, thankfully, vaccinations.

Hospitals in Portugal

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 organizations. 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

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).

A doctor examining a child

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 stabilized.

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:

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

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.

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 subsidized 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 of €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.

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 stabilized 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