Portugal considering subsidised health for UK tourists

in News · 21-02-2020 01:00:00 · 23 Comments

Portugal is considering plans to offer British tourists access to medical care in the country at a similar cost to local residents according to Rita Marques, the minister for tourism.

In a statement made to the British newspaper The Guardian, Marques said that the government is working on unilateral plans to offer medical care at the same cost as those living in Portugal if there is no deal regarding the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by the end of the year.
Marques told The Guardian: “The Portuguese and the UK are the oldest allies in the world and no matter what happens the Portuguese will stand by the British. The British traveller is very important to us.
“We are looking to guarantee this health cover next year.
We are currently looking at how often it is used and if it is making a positive impact.
We are in the process of testing this and the other ideas right now.
“If these are issues that are important to the British traveller, then we have to go for it. We are trying to minimise the disruption to British tourism.”
If no new deal is reached between the UK and the EU before the end of the year then the EHIC, which guarantees citizens within the bloc access to medical care in other EU countries, will no longer be valid.
In the interview Marques added that the government is also considering special passport lanes for British travellers in Portugal and plans to recognise UK driving licenses and pet passports.


Well done Portugal,and thank you for your warm hospitality you show to the uk people you are a credit to Europe!

By Andrew from Algarve on 26-02-2020 10:03

I don't understand the references to British Lords - can someone elucidate please. For the sake of clarity I am British and proud of being so - and I also have a great affection towards Portugal which I have visited on far too many occasions to count, yours is a warm and welcoming country and peoples and long may it remain so.

By Cliff from UK on 25-02-2020 05:41

You can rant all you like, pro & con the bottom line is Portugal needs the tourism and this is a way to ensure they continue to get it.

By Teresa from Other on 25-02-2020 11:51

Alexandre Coelho do Amaral- I agree with you. I am British (although ashamed to be British) and a resident in Portugal and paying my tax here. I see no reason why British tourists should have their health care subsidised. They earn far more on average than their Portuguese counterparts, come from a country that no longer wants to be part of the European Alliance and should pay for health insurance. They've got enough money for their all day English breakfasts and beer.

By Dave Barnes from Lisbon on 22-02-2020 11:24

Seriously, as a Portuguese, 27 years old, I highly disagree with this and this should be decided by the portuguese people, which I guarantee to you, won't vote positively for this stupidity. Sinceramente, é chapada na cara dos portugueses, como se não tivéssemos já os nossos problemas, que exigem soluções, agora temos que acatar com os problemas e egos dos britênhos. Ridículo.

By Vanessa Sena from Açores on 22-02-2020 05:28

I fully agree with declaration from a Portuguese resident. That the LORDS of England should go back to their own country.

By Anthony Kozlowski from Other on 22-02-2020 05:20

I'am not a LORD (see my home town Jaywick) but wish to spend time in Portugal for many reasons. Being old and decrepit it is interesting to spend time somewhere where the history is part of everyday life and growing cabbages in the front garden is not a crime. In the UK my neighbour of 15 years was Portuguese but had moved due to the employment situation UK vs Portugal. Do not take the posturing of your or my government as the attitude of normal people, most of us just want to live a pleasant safe family life and have a modest income and interesting retirement. I have probably contributed more to Portugal (and Brasil and Angola) then you but you only see what you want to.

By Marc from UK on 22-02-2020 04:58

Well said Alexandre. I lived and worked in your beautiful country for several years among the so called expats who would never see themselves as immigrants but as some kind of superior race that you the Portuguese should be greatful to. They have over the years especially in the algarve imposed a form of colonisation which has kept many locals beholden to them. They rarely learn your language constantly complain about the way you do things and have for the most part no idea about your rich culture and live in there own little bubble. Now they are trying to shut you out of there country through dreconian laws imposed to shut out ordinary decent Portuguese workers in there health service and other industry's you helped to build up. Tax the s*** out of them there properties and business and there inheritance what is good for the goose is good for the gander

By Gerry from Other on 22-02-2020 04:54

Very bad decision. Is short term money based on tourism (which also has many bad effects on local communities) worth dignity and respect?
That's also not very nice to local people.

By Alicja from Algarve on 22-02-2020 12:34

As far as I'm aware UK tourists are treated the same as Portuguese nationals due to bilateral accords existing for quite a number of years. I doubt that this has changed with Brexit, but you can always check with the British ambassador who told me this in 2005 when my mum took ill in LISBON.

By Philip Brenton from Lisbon on 22-02-2020 11:41

I can well understand Alexandre's feelings over this.
In the event this occurs, the English (and their fascist-tendency govt) will obtain a very valuable benefit without cost - something they shouldn't have by leaving the EU.
Personally, I'd impose a €500 per person deposit on entry, (refundable on exit) for all the English, to deter 'health tourism' since their NHS is near collapse.

By Two.Sugars.in.my.Tea from Algarve on 22-02-2020 09:33

Sou cidadã Portuguesa mas vivo no Reino Unido, somos muitos por lá também. Gostaria de pedir a ministra que não tenhamos que ter representante fiscal em Portugal pois já cumprimos nossos compromissos nós mesmos e umas empresas estão a cobrar mil euros para fazer realmente nada!

By Marcia Macedo from Lisbon on 22-02-2020 09:32

How sad, that young Alexandre can only see the Brits as an invasion force wanting to change his wonderful country. I believe the Brexit vote says it all Brits only wanted to be FREE and INDEPENDANT. I am sure most Brits would only wish this for all countries including Portugal to allow such decisions that will bring the world closer without the domination of one or two economical larger countries determined to run an organisation for their own benefit.

By John Symon from UK on 22-02-2020 07:46

Why only the BRITS?. Should be for other countries with homes in Portugasl Like CANADA???

By Anthony Horta from Other on 22-02-2020 02:53

Alexandre-You have high taxes and poor social services. Anyone above the poverty level has to buy private medical insurance to ensure timely care. The Leftist elite politicians have tax accountants that find every loophole, so they can force us to pay more taxes for them. And they do not give to charity. Carbon tax initiatives are HURTING the poor, the middle class, and the climate. Lower taxes brings in more tourism (more revenue), more small-business ownership, lower unemployment and higher wages. Taking away from people only causes more poverty. Stop your police-state tyranny and hatred of those in poverty. Allow them to have the freedom to improve their lives.

By DD from Algarve on 22-02-2020 01:41

Well Portugal needs the hyperloop :) It would be awesome to quickly travel from Portugal to anywhere in Europe. Especially to Great Britain. Work in UK and spend all weekends and holidays in Portugal. That would really be great!

By Elisa Lazier from Lisbon on 22-02-2020 12:29

Although, I think it honours the Portuguese government to welcome British citizens and its offer to British citizens living in Portugal, I as a uk resident would like to see the same response to all Portuguese living and working in the UK.

By Maria Ferreira from UK on 21-02-2020 07:17

This is a such a distasteful move by my country's government, when many Portuguese feel neglected by healthcare entities and professionals. Totally ok with promoting Bitish coming, but only that, on the internet on commercial outdoors. That's it.

By Diogo from Lisbon on 21-02-2020 07:03

Amaral is a serious xenophobe. Our NHS covers you guys in the UK. Your government was entirely elected by the Portuguese. Rant on you poor, bored, little man

By Roozle from Lisbon on 21-02-2020 06:53

@Alexandra, You took the words off my mouth, so i have little or nothing to contribute.
Our government shouldn't treat anybody special, coz the British wont reciprocate.
They wanted brexit and they should be allow to face the consequence of their decision.
The British wants to take control of their country , we shouldn't sell our own out because of tourism.
the British people are like a married woman who wants divorce and wants to retain all the benefits of a married woman.

By Mickey from Lisbon on 21-02-2020 05:30

As a local, this type of information from a Minster is an affront to any shred of dignity we have as Portuguese. It is a unilateral decision, where "because of the old alliance" we will keep giving the British Lords free roaming in our country. Might as well change the name of Algarve to "Allgarve" to suit this clear selling out of my country. Nothing against tourism, obviously, but when you forsake your own to appeal and accommodate to outsiders, specially when they have no true connection with the country, it gets my nerves boiling. I am 26 years old and never in my life have I seen, felt or herd the British mencioning or honoring anything remotely similar to an alliance with us. It has always been the Portuguese to "bow down" and thanks the British Lords for their "patronage". And now after Brexit, a clear message was sent to the rest of Europe and the world. As a young Portuguese adult, I will stand against any Brit who was invested on Leave and is now taking residence or "sunny vacation" time on my country. The attitude of not wanting to be a part of the whole, but nit-picking what suits your imperial desires has become more and more evident in the current political and economical sphere. To finish, I will reinforce that I am not against tourism, but I am more and more firmly against any outsider party that wishes to come and establish a second foothold on my country under the guise of "tourism contribution". Because guess what : your contributions led to gentrification, rising prices on food and services, and mass edification of luxury and gourmet enterprises to suit that bubble that the internacional community is forcing on my country, with the obvious consent of our own government (elected by less then half of the Portuguese). So yes, be welcome and embraced if you do embrace the Portuguese culture and uphold it as your own. Go back to where you came from if you came to spread the seeds of your own countries vices. Yours sincerely, an angry Portuguese young adult

By Alexandre Coelho do Amaral from Lisbon on 21-02-2020 03:27

Now all we need is a reintroduction of ferries from UK to Portugal.

By Yvonne from Algarve on 21-02-2020 01:14

Bravo Portugal. We knew you would never let us down. No wonder we love Portugal the best little Country in the world :)

By Eric from Algarve on 21-02-2020 10:41
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