If you have decided to come to work in Portugal, you must get informed previously about how the health system works for immigrants. Will there be costs? Can you be exempt from payment? What care are you entitled to? Let’s see, in this article, how the Portuguese National Health System (NHS) works for workers who come from outside.
Does an immigrant worker have the right to healthcare in Portugal?
While foreign citizennational of a third country not belonging to the European Union or European Economic Area and Switzerland, the reside in national territoryis entitled to health protection, through assistance in a Health Center or a hospital. and must have equal treatment than beneficiaries of the National Health Service (SNS). As long as you have a valid stay or residence permit (temporary or permanent), can enjoy, under equal conditions, the same rights in relation to health, as national citizens. This includes the access to care in official institutions and services, medication assistance, as well as the same principles regarding payment and exemption from user fees.
In what situations is there an exemption from paying user fees?
Immigrant workers are exempt from paying user fees if they are previously referenced by the SNS or if they are admitted to inpatient care through emergency. Hospital referral is carried out through the SNS Line 24by calling 808 24 24 24 in case of acute or urgent situationbut no immediate life-threatening. Saúde 24 makes a pre-screening, advises and refers patients to the most appropriate health facility. But it’s referencing can also be done in a Health Center.
Users exempt from user fees
Likewise, in addition to the foreseen situations, there are also The following users are exempt from paying user fees: Pregnant and parturient women; Minors; With a degree of disability equal to or greater than 60%; In a situation of economic insufficiency, and the dependents of the respective household; Benevolent blood donors: Living donors of cells, tissues and organs; Firefighters; Transplanted patients; Soldiers and ex-soldiers of the Armed Forces who, by virtue of their military service, are permanently disabled; If you are unemployed, registered at the Employment Center and their spouse and dependents (the unemployment benefit received must be equal to or less than 1.5 of the IAS); Young people in the process of promotion and protection running under the terms of the Commission for the Protection of Children and Young People or in court; In compliance with: internment measure, precautionary measure of custody in an educational center or precautionary measure of custody in a public or private institution; Or integrated in social reception responses, if guardianship or the exercise of parental responsibilities are granted to the institution where the minor is integrated, by judicial decision in a civil guardianship process; Asylum seekers and refugees and their spouses or equivalent, and direct descendants; Users within the scope of voluntary termination of pregnancy; Victims of forest fires that occurred in mainland Portugal, between 17 and 24 June 2017, 16 October 2017, and between 3 and 10 August 2018, in the municipalities identified by law. Also read: Immigrants in Portugal: What does it take to live in the country?
How is the right to exemption proved?
For most exemptions, it is just necessary to submit a declaration that proves the situation in question. Although, some take on greater complexity for the user to verify. For example: Exemption for having a degree of incapacity equal to or greater than 60%; Exemption for economic insufficiency. So, for example, in the case of exemption by degree of disability equal to or greater than 60%the user must submit a medical certificate of multipurpose disability. Then this certificate must be presented at the primary care unit (health center or family health unit) in which you are registered. Soon after, the disability is computer registered and keeps valid until the revaluation date, not having the user to pay user fees whenever you go to an SNS health unit.
When are the user fees paid?
The user must pay the user fee at the time you are provided with health care, for example, in an emergency admission. However, the user fee may not be charged to the user in case of impossibility resulting from the state of health or lack of own means of payment. In case the rate don’t get charged at the moment of the performance of the act, the entities obliged to collect, identify or notify the user at the moment that, later, have 10 days to pay, counting from the identification. Also read: What taxes do immigrant workers in Portugal pay?
What happens in case of lack of residence permit or irregular situation?
If immigrants who need healthcare in Portugal do not have a stay or residence permit or are in an irregular situationhas equal access to the SNS. However, they need to present a Parish Council document from your area of residence to prove that they are residing in Portugal for more than 90 days. Since they do not have a residence or residence permit or are in an irregular situation, they may have to pay for the care received according to the tables in force, except situations that could endanger public health, as: Urgent and vital health care; Communicable diseases that pose a danger or threat to public health (tuberculosis, AIDS, among others); Maternal and child health care and reproductive health (access to family planning consultations, voluntary termination of pregnancy, monitoring and surveillance of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium, and health care provided to newborns); Health care for minors residing in Portugal; Vaccination, according to the National Vaccination Program in force; Foreign citizens in a situation of Family Reunification when someone from the household makes proven Social Security discounts; Citizens in a situation of social exclusion or economic deprivation attested by the Social Security Services. Read also: What health care are immigrants in Portugal entitled to?