The report, presented at the National Health Convention (CNS) conference, reveals that the average investment in preventive care rose from 2.7% to 3.3% between 2019 and 2020, a growth of 0.1 percentage points, the European average being 0.6 percentage points.

“Portugal has made a greater investment in recent years in prevention. Even so, it is currently at the tail end of Europe”, said economist João Condeixa, one of the authors of the report, which will be released annually and results from the work of a multidisciplinary team, which brings together doctors, pharmacists, economists, jurists and mathematicians.

Considering only the countries that report data, Portugal is in the 23rd position (out of 26) in terms of investment in preventive care.

João Condeixa added that, despite growing, investment in prevention, as it is still not enough, could have an influence on the increase in spending that Portugal makes with sickness subsidies.

“The State Budget will spend around 800 million euros in 2023 just on sickness subsidies. It is a very considerable growth not only in value, but also in the number of beneficiaries, which increased from 475 thousand in 2012 to 628,000 in 2021”, stressed the economist.

Healthy years

The average life expectancy at age 65 in Europe varies between 15.1 and 21.2 years, and in Portugal it is around 19.8 years.

“However, only 7.8 of these years will be considered healthy life years. The remaining almost two thirds of your life will be lived without quality”, says the study, noting that Portugal is the 8th country with the lowest proportion of years of healthy life at age 65.