Quality and accessibility

Hosting over 200 hospitals within the public and private sectors, Portugal’s healthcare systems present a diverse offering of general care to specialised treatments. According to Expatica, one of the largest online platforms for English-speaking expatriates, Portugal currently spends around 9.1% of its GDP on healthcare, which places the country as the 12th biggest spender across the EU/EFTA.

Portugal’s average life expectancy has averaged around 80 years over the last 10 years according to World Bank Open Data reports. The nation also holds a 63.15% rating in quality on the World Index of Healthcare Innovation report, ranking higher than the US which holds a 56.33% rating.

Hosting a positive trend of dealing with English speaking foreigners over the years, Portugal hosts a range of doctors that converse in other languages. Many of the healthcare establishments within the country host English speaking professionals, ensuring that the language barrier does not hinder treatments to patients. According to Melanie Guerra, commercial director of Stone Capital, “it has become so much more interesting with businesses, cultural diversity, language and even the number of international schools that have opened up. This is a huge indicator of the positive happenings within all sectors in the country, making the choice of immigration easier.”


“As a South African, healthcare is important and does cost a lot depending on your needs. Choosing Portugal means that you will have access to one of the most affordable healthcare systems in the world. Portugal provides a range of affordable treatment plans and systems for citizens and visitors. Your investment into Portugal and gaining a Golden Visa, will help you secure exceptional healthcare services when needed and at a fraction of the cost,” explains Stuart Ferguson, Director of 12 Star Capital.

Managed by the publicly financed National Health Service or Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS), public healthcare within the country is free of charge for children under the age of 16 and seniors over the age of 65, while other age brackets can receive treatment for a reduced fee. Portuguese women receive free treatment during all stages of their pregnancies, including all appointments prior to delivery. Within a hospital you are covered for several treatments such as emergencies, terminal illness care and post-operative care. Public medical services may refer you to private institutions for additional care that may not be completely covered by government funding.

Through a comparison of private healthcare insurance, a family of 4 living in Portugal will pay a low average of $1,500 a year for comprehensive care. With private healthcare insurance, you have a choice of various packaged services and healthcare networks, depending on yours and your family’s needs, as well as payment plans ranging from month-to-month, quarterly and annually.

Healthcare plans in Portugal provide flexible options that are tailored to suit your lifestyle in order to give you the best quality of life.

Healthcare for expats

One of the leading reasons many immigrants choose Portugal is for the healthcare. As an immigrant moving to Portugal, you will have access to their outstanding public and private healthcare. Through your immigration programme, you will be advised on the best route and walked through the process of first gaining private healthcare insurance. Once you have attained your citizenship into Portugal, you will therefore qualify for the public healthcare. It is evident that the quality of healthcare for foreigners and residents is equally exceptional.

It is worth noting that urbanised areas will have enhanced quality and access to healthcare. Expats will be pleased to know that most prescribed medication is free of charge or partially subsidised and are prescription based in many cases. A range of chronic medication is readily available within the country. You will have access to all healthcare within the country once your Golden Visa has been approved.

Seeking quality healthcare should be a top priority when seeking a Plan B option for many investors. A Golden Visa presents an opportunity that opens avenues, allowing you to secure a superior lifestyle in Portugal. Ensure this journey is facilitated seamlessly through 12 Star Capital before the applicable visa changes come into effect in 2022.