Portugal Realty


Healthcare in Portugal

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Successive Portuguese governments have made the health of the Portuguese population a priority. After joining the EU, Portugal immediately embarked on a programme to build new hospitals and to upgrade the facilities of many existing hospitals. The quality of services has improved so must so that, healthcare in Portugal is rated amongst the best in the world. Portugal ranks 12th in World Health Organization’s ranking of the world’s health systems, ahead of the UK’s NHS which ranks at number 18.

Benefits of Living in Portugal

Healthcare - It should be no surprise that Portugal has excelled in this sector, caring comes naturally to the Portuguese. The Portuguese are known for their kindness, hospitality and most important their empathy for fellow citizens. Portuguese doctors and nurses are well-trained in many disciplines but most importantly they excel in the warm manner in which they care for patients.
State Healthcare - Portuguese citizens and residents are entitled to free healthcare, this right is further extended to all citizens of the EU who are visiting Portugal. Foreigners living or working in Portugal will generally be eligible for state healthcare but short-term visitors to Portugal from countries outside of the EU will require private health insurance.
Private healthcare - Most Portuguese use the state health care system which is the equivalent of the NHS, locally referred to as the SNS or Serviço Nacional de Saude. Professionals and foreigners resident in Portugal often prefer to use private medical. Private medical is not necessarily better than state care but more convenient. It is not uncommon to meet Portuguese doctors who are employed in both state as well as private health care. Private healthcare has grown in recent years with private clinics located throughout the country. They are often better prepared for foreigners having protocols with international Insurance companies, with English and French also being spoken in most clinics.
Registration - Foreigners who choose to live in Portugal are required to register with the local health centre or Centro de Saude, which are generally located close to the village centre. The process is quite simple all you need is your proof of residence or citizenship card and go along to your local Centro de Saude to complete the registration. You will be allocated a family doctor and issued with a Numero de Utente. Appointments to see your family doctor can be done on the telephone or at the counter.
Regardless of whether you choose to use private medical or not, it is advisable that you register with your local centre. There are many foreign doctors we have chosen to live in work in Portugal, so it is not uncommon to meet a foreign doctor who is working in a private clinic especially in Lisbon and the Algarve.
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Will & Testament
The Portuguese civil code gives priority to the foreign Will & Testament, nevertheless solicitors will recommend that clients who are looking for property for sale in Portugal, prepare a Portuguese Will & Testament for their Portuguese assets. This will save your family the unnecessary cost of translating your foreign Will & Testament into Portuguese and therefore process your estate quicker.
No Inheritance Tax - There is no inheritance tax in Portugal, inheritance tax was abolished in 2004, however there is a stamp duty payable equivalent to 10% of the assets bequeathed to indirect beneficiaries.
Spouses and children are exempt from this stamp duty, should your spouse and children be your beneficiaries they will not be liable for any taxes or duties in Portugal.
Talk to a wealth manager who has both the experience in Portugal and the country that you are currently resident. There are wealth planning offices in Portugal who specialise in dealing with these matters, we will be happy to introduce you to an independent office that specialises in your country.