The Número de Utente or SNS number is one of the most important numbers everyone living in Portugal must have. In this article, we'll take a detailed look at the SNS number, how to get an SNS number in Portugal, and the healthcare system in Portugal.
Healthcare in Portugal
Numero de Utente / SNS Number
Overview Of SNS Number
Once formally granted residency in Portugal, you can apply for your SNS number. When you go to apply for it, you will need to present formal residency papers to demonstrate this status. Use your residency card if you're from a country outside the EU. If you are an EU citizen, you can register using your CRUE residency certificate. Anyone traveling to Portugal on a D7 visa or a Portugal Golden Visa will be in the latter. You could also present evidence of the appointment booking if you're still waiting for your SEF appointment to receive this card.
How To Get SNS Number In Portugal
Below is the procedure on how to get an SNS number in Portugal:
- Find a nearby health center Find the Centro de Saúde (health center) closest to your Portuguese registered location using Google Maps. Going to the closest one is key because the healthcare system in Portugal is based on location. If you visit the wrong health center, they will probably ask you to visit the nearest one.
- Have your documents ready You'll need to bring the following documents along to the health center: ❖ Passport ❖ Proof of residency ❖ NIF / Fiscal number (on the original document from Finanças), ❖ Social Security number (if you have one; you probably won't if you're not employed in Portugal), ❖ Portuguese phone number (they normally won't accept a foreign one).
- Go to the Centro de Saúde To submit your application, go to your neighborhood health facility. You'll most likely need to purchase a ticket and wait for your number to be called. The employee processing your application will pose several fundamental questions to you. Even if they know a bit of English, be prepared to use Google Translate on your phone if necessary. A few essential Portuguese phrases should be memorized to speed up and simplify the procedure.
- Get your SNS number The staff at the Centro de Saúde will print a paper with your new health number on it after reviewing all of your documentation. You are now formally a member of the Portuguese public health system!
- Book an appointment for a medical checkup Although you are not required to complete this step, the staff who manages your application will generally advise you to do so. Basic blood pressure measurements, height, weight, and other factors are typically taken. You can always go back and complete it in the future.
Portugal's Healthcare System Access
Everyone living in Portugal who has been legally recognized as a resident by the appropriate authorities is eligible to enroll in the Portuguese National Health System (Serviço Nacional de Saúde or SNS). Following registration, the Health Center issues the SNS Number in Portugal (Número de Utente), which entitles the citizens to use the Portuguese public healthcare system on the same terms as a Portuguese citizen. Every time a patient uses medical services, they must present this number. The government pays for healthcare, but citizens are still required to pay ordinary taxes, or "taxas moderadoras." For instance, a specialist consultation costs €7.00, whereas a general and family care doctor appointment costs €4.50. Pregnant women, children, and teens up to 17, patients with severe disabilities or limited financial resources, and those unemployed are exempt from this rule. These citizens must provide proof of their condition in the form of documents. For everyone planning to move to Portugal, remember that you cannot get medical care there using your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) grants the right to use public healthcare during a brief visit to any EU nation, including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. Instead, it would help if you worked on how to get an SNS number in Portugal and finish your registration with the Portuguese National Health System. Because healthcare is crucial, you should arrange it as soon as possible after you become a Portuguese resident. You can access the Portuguese public healthcare system by using the SNS number. That includes access to doctors and nurses at your local center for health care and emergency care in A&E (community healthcare center).
Accessibility To Healthcare In Portugal
Foreigners who reside or work in Portugal are usually qualified for state healthcare. The Portuguese healthcare system includes public and private healthcare services, and the country has excellent standards for healthcare. A legal resident is a key requirement to access the Portuguese healthcare system. This implies that foreign nationals registered as residents can access healthcare services there. Under certain circumstances, non-working residents such as the unemployed, the retired, or dependent family members may be included.
Non-residents and temporary visitors to Portugal must have private health insurance to cover their time there. However, people traveling briefly from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland can use their European Health Insurance Card to obtain public healthcare in Portugal (EHIC). Foreign nationals may also have free or discounted access to public healthcare in Portugal if their countries and Portugal have reciprocal healthcare agreements. Andorra, Brazil, Cape Verde, and Morocco are the nations that currently have agreements in place. Meanwhile, other non-EU citizens will need to buy private health insurance to be covered.