With the approval of the Left Bloc’s (Bloco de Esquerda’s BE) diploma, all fees will cease to exist in the NHS, with the exception of certain hospital emergencies. Although, the new state of affairs will only become officially implemented after it is discussed by the Parliamentary Health Commission.

On top of primary healthcare, fees will also be scrapped for specialist consultations prescribed by family GPs, follow up appointments booked by hospital professionals, and exams prescribed by NHS doctors. In a nutshell, the bill sees that no moderating fees will be applied to ‘appointments, complimentary actions and any other health services, if their booking originates in the NHS’.

Currently, the NHS grants exemptions from moderating fees to a specific group of people, according to disease, age or financial situation, although there are at least four million Portuguese people who are not eligible for such relief.

Fees can cost anywhere from €0.40 for complementary treatments to €18 for a trip to the emergency room, and they constitute about 2 percent of the NHS’s budget.