Registering for the NHS System – Healthcare in Portugal – Expats Portugal Community Forum

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Registering for the NHS System


Posts: 85
Premium Member
Topic starter
(@michael_tn)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 months ago

Ok, we finally settled on a flat and will have an address for the next year, so we are looking at the process for the public health care system. As expats it seems we need these three documents:

1) social security card

2) passport/ID card

3) residence permit

 

We have our NIF numbers, is that the same as 1)? we never received an SS card as part of our process in getting our NIF's

2) is easy, we have passports

Does our temporary D7 passport stamp satisfy 3)? We won't have our SEF meeting until the first of May and we would like to get this process started. 

I'm working through the process in here, if that helps.

Thanks!

4 Replies

Posts: 141
Ask Our Expats Consultant
(@anavieira)
Member
Joined: 9 months ago

Hello!

Here is some help from an official website:

- WHEN CAN YOU REQUEST THE SNS’S USER NUMBER?
A foreign citizen may request the SNS’s user number when he/she has a legal residence.
- WHERE CAN YOU REQUEST THE SNS’S USER NUMBER?
Health Centres (go to the one closer to your address)
 

- WHAT ARE THE DOCUMENTS AND REQUIREMENTS TO REQUEST THE SNS’S USER NUMBER?
If you are a foreign citizen living in Portugal, you must submit the following documents:
residence permit
Tax Identification Number (tax card).

- WHAT IS THE PRICE TO REQUEST THE SNS’S USER NUMBER?
It is free of charge.

- HOW CAN YOU REQUEST THE SNS’S USER NUMBER?
Go to a health centre with the following elements:
a valid residence permit issued by the Immigration and Borders Service
Tax Identification Number (tax card)

If you hold a Citizen Card, you don't need to request the SNS’s user number. All you need to do is present your Citizen Card to access health care in the National Health Service units.

 

Official information: 

 

 

Hope it helps!

All the best 🙂

Ana

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1 Reply
Premium Member
(@michael_tn)
Joined: 3 months ago

Trusted Member
Posts: 85

@anavieira Thanks! That does helps! We never received a 'card' with our NIF's on it. I have the document where it was assigned. Do people generally have a NIF card?

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Posts: 94
Ask Our Expats Consultant
(@thomasandmatthew)
Member
Joined: 4 years ago

NIF - they haven't given out cards for some years now, they will give you a stamped print-out, the original of which you should keep with your file of key paperwork.  This will be accepted - just quoting the number sometimes is, sometimes isn't.

SNS number - recent feedback suggests that many/most/all Centros de Saúde (health centres) are not processing applications, but instructing people to apply via email to an address they give you.  This process appears completely stalled - recently arrived friends have waited 2-3 months.  However, this IS the default COVID position, unfortunately.

Which Centro de Saúde - theoretically, it should be the one covering your registered address (which is normally the nearest one, though urban zoning can be slightly off, as you might expect).  If you end up at the wrong one, they should be able to tell you which one is the right one.  However, it's sometimes possible to get registered at another CdS within the same health region (ARS - look for something like ARS Lisboa Central, and then google whatever the relevant one is, to find where its other CdSs are.

Note - if you have a genuine medical emergency, and don't yet have a number, then it should be possible for them, exceptionally, to sort the SNS number when dealing with you, at the CdS, or at the hospital.  Please don't use this route unless it is critical!

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Posts: 85
Premium Member
Topic starter
(@michael_tn)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 months ago

Thanks All!

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