Portugal’s National Health Service overtakes UK and Spain

in News · 02-02-2017 14:03:00 · 2 Comments
Portugal’s National Health Service overtakes UK and Spain

In an international survey into European national health systems, Portugal’s National Health Service (SNS) has fared better than a number of European ones, including the UK’s NHS.

Portugal ranked higher than the UK and Spain in the assessment of 35 different European countries, evaluated from a consumer’s viewpoint.
The Netherlands performed the best and again topped the Euro Health Consumer Index, with Portugal having climbed six places over the past 12 months and, for the first time, overtaking the UK and neighbouring Spain.
The survey is conducted by Swedish organisation Health Consumer Powerhouse (HCP), and this year ranks Portugal mid-table, in 14th position, with a total of 763 points out of a possible 1,000.
While the Netherlands once again topped the 2016 ranking, Romania was at the very opposite end, in bottom position.

Portugal’s journey on the ranking has, over the years, seen it climb from 25th place in 2012, to 16th the year after and again to 13th in 2014.
It then plummeted to 20th position in 2015, seemingly because of “a less favourable perception by patients due to waiting times”, before climbing again this year.
Released at the end of January, the 2016 report identifies Portugal’s weakest points which require more investment as being “accessibility”, still due to long waiting lists, and problems in accessing specialist consultations; a high caesarean rate, and “diversity and coverage of services offered.”
On a plus point, improvements have been made with regard to patients’ rights and results from treatments and preventions.
The Euro Health Consumer Index has, over the years, garnered criticism for its method of compiling the information, which is based on public statistics, information from patient organisations, and independent research.
It has come under fire from specialists who question the thoroughness of its results.
Portugal’s National Health Board (DGS) has collaborated with the authors of the report in successive years since 2009.
Addressing this year’s outcome, Catarina Sena, spokesperson for the DGS, said Portugal surpassed the UK and Spain “because it is better classified in terms of accessibility, with, among other aspects, the possibility to book a same-day doctor’s appointment being seen as an added bonus.”
Speaking to newspaper Público, she noted however that Portugal’s overall score is “penalised” because the study “is based on an ideology that sits in dispute with our system, that is, which gives privilege to indiscriminate access to healthcare, and Portugal, which follows the Beveridge model (also followed in the United Kingdom), is based on a concept of prior reference, usually via primary health care [family doctor].”


Yes, I agree with Anne Kuschel as above comment.

Have you ever walked into a health centre where there are absolutely no patients...or doctors, but 3 - 4 administrative staff!

We have also had the same "no doctor...no nurse" scenario, periodically in our area of central Portugal for years.

At our local health centre, the doctors consultations are announced at the beginning of each month, only for that particular month, so first to hear of these [especially friends of the health centre secretary] are in the queue before anybody else gets a chance...so further delays for patients.

Also, if you are an estrangeiro, it is twice as hard as requests for medical consultations are given to Portuguese nationals first!

Of course the plan is to force the majority to purchase private health care, then the health authority will 'concede' that as most patients have elected for private health care [from the same SNS registered doctors and nurses] then there is no requirement for a government health service...simple...sorted...nothing to see here...move on.

by Ronnie in the Beiras from Beiras on 09-02-2017 08:09:00

My experience of the Portuguese health service is quite the opposite to the view expressed above. I lived near Aljezur. Many times we would go to the health centre only to be told we have no doctors here today. When you did get a doctor he most certainly would not be Portuguese, he might and I stress might speak English if you were lucky. Countless 'doctors' missed the fact that I had bone cancer, despite knowing I had had breast cancer 10 years previously. No no no. The Portuguese health service is not even second rate it's third or fourth rate.

by Anne Kuschel from UK on 03-02-2017 02:28:00
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