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Expat Exchange - Health Care in Porto 2024
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Sao Bento Station in Porto, Portugal


Health Care in Porto

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: Learn about the health system in Porto: how it can and cannot be used by expats, nomads, retirees and others moving to and living in Porto.

The healthcare system in Porto is a mix of public and private services. The public healthcare system, known as the Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS), is available to all residents, including foreigners, while private healthcare is also widely used, particularly by expats and digital nomads.

Portugal's Healthcare System

The public healthcare system in Portugal, the Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS), is generally well-regarded and used by both locals and foreigners. However, for serious medical emergencies and major surgeries, many people recommend using private hospitals due to shorter waiting times and perceived higher quality of care. Public hospitals in Porto, like the Hospital de São João, are typically large, busy, and may have longer waiting times. Foreigners, including expats and digital nomads, are allowed to use the public healthcare system in Portugal, but many choose to use private hospitals for their healthcare needs. Private hospitals in Porto, such as the Hospital da Luz Porto, are known for their modern facilities and high standard of care.

Hospitals and Clinics for Expats in Porto

  • Hospital de São João - a public hospital located in the Paranhos area of Porto.
  • Hospital da Luz Porto - a private hospital in the eastern part of the city.
  • CUF Porto Hospital - a private hospital known for its specialist departments, located in the Aldoar area.
  • Lusíadas Porto - another private hospital, located in the Boavista area, known for its cardiology department.

Emergency Services in Porto

Yes, there are ambulance services in Porto. In case of an emergency, you can call 112, the European emergency number. The response time can vary depending on the situation and location, but generally, the services are efficient and reliable.

Health Insurance Companies in Porto

There are several popular private health insurance companies in Porto, including Médis, Multicare, and Allianz. These companies offer a range of plans and coverage options. While some expats and digital nomads may choose to use these local companies, many opt for international health insurance providers that offer coverage in multiple countries and have plans specifically designed for expats and digital nomads.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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Sao Bento Station in Porto, Portugal

William Russell
William Russell

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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William RussellWilliam Russell

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
Get Quote

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