The study, prepared by the Health Observatory of the European University, entitled “The Portuguese and Health in the post-pandemic”, states that 48.7% of respondents say they have difficulty accessing a specialist consultation and, among these, 30.2% have been waiting more than three months for one of these appointments.

“This ends up having an influence on the patient's access to medical care and makes a difference”, acknowledged Ana Passos, one of the study coordinators, in statements to Lusa, underlining: “If three months for some things may be a short time, for some consultations is too much and people are not satisfied with this wait”.

The study, which analysed the perceptions of Portuguese people regarding health services in terms of access, use, quality and trust, also indicates that 35.4% refer to difficulties in carrying out diagnostic tests, with 27.2% waiting for more than three months to carry out one of these exams.

Private sector confidence

Almost three out of four trust or highly trust the private sector, while in the public sector the figure is 56.1%.

Of those who used health services in the last year, 51.5% chose the public sector and 67.7% used the private sector.

Among users of the National Health Service (SNS), the most sought after services are primary health care (family doctor or another doctor at the health centre).

In this context, 22% do not have a family doctor. Among users in the private sector, the most used services (56%) are specialist consultations in hospitals.

Overall, the quality of services (public and private) is evaluated with a positive note, highlighting the good service (97% of respondents), clear and perceptible clarification (89%), comfort and information (87%).