Skip to content

What about Health Care in Portugal?

What about Health Care in Portugal?

smiling mature couple enjoying a sunny day sailing together

One of the biggest concerns many Americans have when considering moving to Portugal for retirement or relocation has to do with health care.

Most people in the US assume their healthcare system is the best in the world. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, it is only the 37th best. But it does rank near the top in one category: How much it costs the average user.

In contrast, the same WHO survey ranked Portugal’s healthcare system among the world’s 12 best. And everybody who lives in Portugal — including Americans who move there — is entitled to free medical care under the country’s universal healthcare system.

Portugal Health Care

Besides cost, there are other significant differences between health care in Portugal and the US. One of the most shocking to Americans is that in Portugal when you get sick your doctor is more likely to visit you in your home. Yes, house calls are still the norm in Portugal.

Another difference is the quality of care patients receive in hospitals. Many US residents are surprised to learn that they receive the same or better medical treatment than they have back home. And unlike the US, where insurance companies are motivated to rush people out of the hospital to reduce costs, patients are given as much care and time that they need to get better.

Public vs Private

Portugal offers free healthcare for everybody. But many middle and upper-class residents choose supplemental medical insurance, which is available at much lower premiums than are paid in the US. Private healthcare insurances can allow users to use private hospitals and medical clinics and jump to the front of the line when requiring services like surgeries and specialized medical services.

Depending on your age and health, private insurance is available for as little as €4 per month, or about $4.72, although it generally is closer to about €40, or about $47.20/month per person.

So if you are wavering about moving to Portugal because of concerns about its health care system, you need not worry. In Portugal when you need medical care, you may be in better hands than you would be in the US.

Health Care



Complimentary Consultation:

Please fill out the form below. Our team will get back to you shortly.

Step 1 of 9