Medical tourism in Portugal set to grow

in News · 03-01-2020 01:00:00 · 37 Comments

Portugal’s healthcare sector is “the best in the world”, the country’s minister of state, economy and digital transition, Pedro Siza Vieira, said during an event relating to the promotion of medical tourism.

“We have to be proud and satisfied in terms of being able to offer our fellow citizens a health system that is one of the best in the world,” the minister, one of the most senior in government, said at a ceremony in Lisbon at which a protocol to promote the offer of medical tourism in Portugal was signed.
In order to attract citizens from other countries for health care, the Portuguese “have to be the first to believe that the health system is one of the best of the world” and promote the country in these terms, he stressed.
The minister also highlighted the proposals for health in the Socialist government’s draft state budget for next year, which he said include a “budgetary reinforcement” for the sector, and hailed medical tourism as a potential driver of growth in the economy.

The secretary of state for tourism, Rita Marques, at the same event, agreed that medical tourism was a “very sure bet for tourism”. She recalled that the protocol now signed follows a study by an interdepartmental working group set up in 2016 that concluded that Portugal has a great deal to offer in this area and that health professionals and other experts have the capacity to respond to growing demand.
The protocol was signed by representatives of Portugal’s national tourist board, of the Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade (AICEP), the Health Cluster Portugal organisation and the Portuguese Association of Private Hospitalisation.
In the document, medical tourism is described as a potential boost to the sector’s competitiveness and the objective is established of achieving annual turnover of more than €100 million from medical tourism.
“Whereas the work already undertaken in the field of Medical Tourism, in which it is recognised that the José de Mello Saúde/CUF Group, the Luz Saúde Group and the Lusíadas Group have presented and promoted the offer of Medical Tourism in Portugal, this can be extended to other providers, namely members of Health Cluster Portugal and the Portuguese Association of Private Hospitalisation”, the protocol reads.


Retired 45 yr nurse/teacher. Faced critical medical episodes in Faro [living there] x2. Do not question competence of health professionals. But experienced complete lack of capacity for adequate care. Now repatriated to Canada. Article =BS

By Pierre LaPlante from Other on 05-01-2020 01:24

I am a very experienced medical tourism specialist for more than 10 years who had worked in Turkey which is a medical tourism hub. I moved to Portugal and sent emails to health cluster, cuf , lusiadas and etc. to offer my knowledge and share my insights And guess what? no answer from any healthcare professional. Unfortunately Portugal can only serve to their own citizens with the current mentality.

By Ulas Bicakci from Porto on 05-01-2020 01:09

They must be talking about private centres only.

By Karl from Algarve on 05-01-2020 11:06

Your email seem misleading, Spain, France, Italy, and Germany are much higher rates. Tell me about your cardiology specialist TAVR, heart valve replacement best hospitals and best doctors, cardiologist
Thank you

By Albert Valencia from USA on 04-01-2020 09:41

Can't be worse than UK, no service for the English, only for immigrants. On the other hand its the same policy. Certainly those I know who used Portugal or Spain medical services have nothing but praise for them, convinced that British NHS would have ensured their demise.

By peter eldridge from UK on 04-01-2020 09:30

Rubbish, who ever wrote this article hasn't done their research.

By Anon from Lisbon on 04-01-2020 08:34

Surprised reading this article! I would appreciate if it happens. Ministers should understand the distinct difference between tourism and medical tourism. Just to say wow!!!!!!

By Alan from Lisbon on 04-01-2020 06:22

They must be talking about the private system because the public system is definitely at the bottom of the list.

By Mary Elizabeth from USA on 04-01-2020 03:31

I've thought about retiring to Portugal. It's know health care is not great. Now I know why. I didn't know the government is socialist. Never works. They want it over here. It's just communism you voted for. Can you name one country where it works. VOTE!

By D from USA from USA on 04-01-2020 02:45

Sounds like a real bad joke. At least in the faro area with only 1 hospital in the algarve it is more 3rd world country standards. Wonder why there are so many private outfits around here. Must be a lucrative market to sustain all these enterprises.

By Rolf Burckhardt from Algarve on 04-01-2020 02:39

Are these politicians all there? Talk about a few slices short of a loaf. After living in many countries I have found the Portuguese public system to be one of the worst in the world, hands down one is the worst in the EU. No doctors, no hospital beds, no specialists, outdated and non-existent equipment, constant strike action by exhausted medical staff, under resourced at every level. But the politicians can make a $$ out of rich foreigners coming to Portugal for cosmetic surgery so they jump on it, disgusting but not surprising.

By K from Algarve on 04-01-2020 01:48

Are these politicians all there? Talk about a few slices short of a loaf. After living in many countries I have found the Portuguese public system to be one of the worst in the world, hands down one is the worst in the EU. No doctors, no hospital beds, no specialists, outdated and non-existent equipment, constant strike action by exhausted medical staff, under resourced at every level. But the politicians can make a $$ out of rich foreigners coming to Portugal for cosmetic surgery so they jump on it, disgusting but not surprising.

By K from Algarve on 04-01-2020 12:42

SNS, the portuguese medical service is far (very far) from great but NHS, the english one is hundreds times worse, is really depressing.

By Ivo from UK on 04-01-2020 12:02

What world do these people live in ? Do they think the people will be fooled by there lies? Just who are they trying to convince ? Sounds like the early stages of brainwashing ? Keep telling them over & over & over & over again & eventually they will believe it. Those with any intelligence will not bw fooled.

By Eric from UK on 04-01-2020 11:58

Total BS!!! Some of the WORST medical services and quality I have received anywhere! Had to go to France to be properly treated!!!

By Tomas Bonk from Lisbon on 04-01-2020 11:42

The Medical Tourism is not aimed at the NHS, but rather at private hospitals. The government is progressively and deliberately emptying the NHS since there is a huge economical promiscuity between politics and private companies.

By Galeno from Lisbon on 04-01-2020 10:52

My experience of Portuguese health care was actually quite shocking, compared to the uk nhs it feels 30 years behind.

By Angela Roberts from Other on 04-01-2020 10:38

...and thus the reality of a two tier system, while the public funded system suffers and so do those that need it most, the private 'pay per service' flourishes and those that can afford enjoy its benefits.
Will this strategy to inject 'health care tourism euros' into the economy help the public system? One can only hope.!.

By Fernando Violante from Other on 04-01-2020 10:17

This is absolutely not true . I have lived in Nijmegen ( The Netherlands ) for 40 years and returned to my native country in 2018 . My experience has been very negative. Long waiting lists for regular consultation and hospital care is not adequate . Expertise from medical staff iis at a very low standard. That's why doctors leave the national health system to work abroad. Another negative circumstance is the continously medical and paramedical strikes . Old facilities and Low capacity results in an extreme high risk of infection by hospital resistant bacteria each year .

By Andre Vincente Cabral Borges from Porto on 04-01-2020 08:31

Well, it seems G. Orwell got this one right: we have officially inaugurated the Ministry of Truth! Actually, we may have more than one...

By João Soares from Lisbon on 04-01-2020 07:43

I must say I have been impressed with the service I have received from the local NHS while visiting relatives or on holiday in Portugal - generally, I saw better emergency response than with the NHS. Some of the private healthcare providers also look very impressive and good value. The caring and professional attitude of the staff stands out. It is not an accident that so many Portuguese professionals are working in the UK NHS.
I agree metrics need to be clear and transparent for the private offer to be promoted abroad.

By Paulo Goncalves from UK on 04-01-2020 07:20

I wish Governments could be just honest. I live in Canada and people all over the world think this is a great country to live. It was good for awhile but its getting bad. Lots of poverty, drugs, poor health care, food is rediculously expensive and minimum wages too low. Its only 4 months of summer and long dark winters. A tough country to live in also. I was thinking if checking out as my great grandfather was Portugese and I am so tired of here. But it worries me that there is no country that is good anymore with climate change and rising prices in everything. The world is a sad place.

By Monique Jade Bushell from Other on 04-01-2020 02:19

Whoever wrote this article must have been paid very well for such fake news. What a pipe dream!

By D. Norton from Lisbon on 04-01-2020 12:56

I don't believe in this the Portuguese People are saying very diferente about the health in our Country, this is I think Government in Portugal are lying about, we Portuguese are very good in other thinks, but not on this one, Poor Portuguese People, they are suffering about the health sistem that the Government give to them!!!

By Antonio Silva from Other on 03-01-2020 11:37

It's a huge shame to read such lies.
The portuguese health system is nothing compared to world class health systems, let's just take one to compare it (I mean they sey they are World Class) so please take it.

Switzerland against Portugal.

So let's just compare my case I had in both countries to compare what happened.

I had a Stress Situation here in Portugal back in 2017. I tought, because I didn't know what I had, that I was having a heart attack so my Wife called 112 and only after 22 minuted the INEM arrived we live in the center of Viseu, exactlly 1.2 KM away from the Hospital. They tested me with all kind of equipement, then they took me to the ambulance and to the Hospital. During all the wait (entering the hospital) untill I saw a doctor it passed 5 hours. I was having breathing issues, nobody took care of me. And then he ordered me to give some blood and then said well you can come back tomorrow.

Now same episode just 3 weeks later in Basel. I was working in the city and I feelt again huge pain in the chest and had respiratory issues. My employee called the ambulance 144 just 6 minutes later 3 people arrived and they give me oxigen, calmed me down and brought me to the hosiptal Emergency room. After 15 minutes or less the doctor was there and asked me a ton of questions as in the ambulance I told them I had a similar issue in Portugal 3 weeks ago. They had transmited all my informations to the doctor and he thougt to know my issue. After just some basic questions (not really a ton) he diagnost me with a Burn-out syndrome but didn' call in even untill we run some tests. In the next 3 hours they did a CT, Bycicle Cardigram, Cardigram, Blood, Lungvolume test and a Ultrasound to my lungs. What came out? I had whater in my lungs and I could have died if they would'nt have seeing it.

What is the outcome of that? Well me as a Portuguese, I would love to be proyd of a medical system that really works, but sorry... You can't sell apples as oranges. Cuz your apples are rotten... Fix first the national health system then try to selo health tourism but to say such things yoy should feel ashamed of you against all other portuguese people that read such dump words with 0 trueness behind. There are people diying because they have to wait months to be treathed, they are people ling in the flors and not in the rooms because there is not enough space. You should be so ashamed of what you plan! Put money in the NHS instead of promoting Private Health care system! You are total fools.

By Marco Frias from Lisbon on 03-01-2020 10:01

My family doesn't have a family doctor because there are 200000 persons waiting for one. Is this news about a parallel universe Portugal? Are you really serious about it?

Those politicians are insulting us

By Miguelangel from Lisbon on 03-01-2020 09:36

This gonna be the joke of the year, regardless of whatever's gonna come out til it ends. ROFL!

By Luis from Other on 03-01-2020 08:31

What the f*k.. just today I have waited 6 hour more for the emergency services

By Suraj from Lisbon on 03-01-2020 08:01

My God what a bull sh*****. People have to wait 6 years for an operation, like a lot of my friends, & family. The reality of it is Portugal is a 3rd world country. As the Portuguese how live there. (The poor ones)

By Luis from UK on 03-01-2020 06:52

Really? Takes decade to get the appointment.

By Pedro from Lisbon on 03-01-2020 06:49

Pure fake.

By Silvio Godinho from Porto on 03-01-2020 06:44

Complete cobblers.
My 87 yeat old mother was treated like S#$t when she fell and went to A&E. Her left arm and thorax were severely bruised and she was told to stop complaining. Was sent home without treatment and had to be admitted into intensive care 2 days later.

By Alvaro Batista from UK on 03-01-2020 06:37

Is this an early April fools??

By Caryn le feuvre from Beiras on 03-01-2020 06:30

I am retiring jn PT because of a variety if things. The Centro de Saude system has impressed me! When I needed it, the CdS system took care of me.
Even though I am not in PT at the moment, I also purchased private health insurance as a condition of getting a long-term residence visa ...
And so it goes on.....

By Tmac100 from Other on 03-01-2020 06:14

This is utter b*******. The cuts to the NHS have left public hospitals in a miserable state. The waiting times are unacceptable and the last time I was in the ER I was treated like trash by so called professionals who are responsible for people in their most vulnerable state.

By Monica from Porto on 03-01-2020 04:07

Really ?

They even can not provide service for their citizen !

By Babak from Lisbon on 03-01-2020 02:46

Ha, best medical in the world?! Based on what metrics? Poor state health doctors, long waiting times, no medicines in some instances, poor infrastructure and strikes, sounds like the NHS on a bad day.

By Matthew Dorman from Other on 03-01-2020 10:22
Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.

Please note that The Portugal News may use selected comments in the printed edition of the newspaper.