In discussing the challenges they faced in dealing with foreigners who were victims of serious accidents, such as road accidents, they mentioned the lack of immediate information concerning the person’s, allergies, medication and known illness.

The idea of an emergency medical card was borne.

Safe Communities then met with the GNR, PSP and INEM and a card was designed to provide this vital information.

The Emergency Card does not replace any official identification documents, but is intended to serve as an additional source of information useful to the emergency services at an accident scene. It also contains the citizens' countries of origin, whom it may be necessary to establish direct contact, with the help of embassies.

Remember you maybe unconscious or unable to communicate clearly; so every second counts.

The card is: Free of charge; recognized by INEM and security forces; is in English and Portuguese; easy to download from official websites; no waiting time; easy to update and there are no data privacy issues.

It can be obtained in a few minutes - simply download, fill in, print, cut out and carry at all times.

The document with instructions containing the card can be downloaded from the home page of Safe Communities Portugal www.safecommunitiesportugal.com as well as GNR, PSP, INEM and through GOV.UK Travel Advise Portugal - Healthcare.

David Thomas

President, Safe Communities Portugal