Portugal has a state-funded universal healthcare system offered to all of its citizens. Private healthcare sectors are also available in Portugal, and some citizens and permanent residents do opt for private health insurance rather than state-funded healthcare.
Travelers, however, aren’t offered the same state-funded healthcare as Portuguese citizens. So it’s important for travelers to buy travel medical insurance before arriving into the country. Travel medical insurance will give you access to doctors and emergency treatment at any of the public and private hospitals in Portugal. For a single-person 2-week trip, the travel insurance at a good insurance company would cost about 70 EUR with the most basic cover plan. If you are on a visit from EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may access public healthcare through your European Health Insurance Card.
If you are planning to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days, you can ask for a certificate from your local council office. The certificate allows you to access Portugal’s public healthcare.
There are a mixture of 200 public and private hospitals in Portugal all staffed with English speaking health professionals. The quality of care at these hospitals is quite reasonable by international standards, and the doctors will be able to care for whatever ailment you may have. In a World Health Organization study, Portugal’s healthcare quality was ranked 12th in the world.
In an emergency, foreign travelers won’t be denied treatment. Once you are stabilized, though, you will be required to show a form of insurance to pay for the treatment. And for that reason, it’s a good idea to purchase private travelers insurance.