A dispensary storefront in Vancouver, Canada

A dispensary storefront in Vancouver, Canada

Can I Get Marijuana for Medical Purposes in Portugal?

P, a Portugalist reader, contacted Portugalist to ask whether there was any leeway for those that have a prescription for it from outside of Portugal and are using it for serious medical reasons. In this case, cancer treatment. She’s not the first person to ask. Many people visiting Portugal or considering moving here, particularly from the US and Canada, have similar questions.  And given the number of people that approach you on the streets of

doctor and patient

© DepositPhotos / VitalikRadko

Understanding How Healthcare in Portugal Works

For many people, one of the biggest questions that comes with moving to another country is: what’s the healthcare there like? In Portugal, the answer is pretty good, at least according to the Euro Health Consumer Index, which ranked Portugal at 13th best in Europe in 2018[1]https://healthpowerhouse.com/media/EHCI-2018/EHCI-2018-report.pdf.  Portugal’s healthcare system is split into two systems, public and private, a two-way system that those from other European countries will be familiar with. However, even though the

Serenity Logo

Serenity Portugal: A Concierge Service for the Portuguese Healthcare System

Making sure your healthcare needs are met is an important consideration when you’re thinking about moving to Portugal. For most people this means:  Obtaining an SNS number so they can use the public healthcare system Obtaining private health insurance to cut down the costs of using private hospitals (optional) There’s now a third complementary option – again optional – on that checklist and that’s a membership with Serenity. Getting an SNS number and health insurance

Understanding Health Insurance in Portugal

Although Portugal has a good public healthcare system, many people, both Portuguese and expats, choose to take out private health insurance as well. Health insurance isn’t expensive in Portugal. According to ContasPoupanca.pt[1]https://contaspoupanca.pt/2021/02/17/qual-e-o-melhor-seguro-de-saude-para-mim-e-para-a-minha-familia/, the cost is on the lower end of that scale: in 2020, the average Portuguese resident spent €358 per person per year or around €30 per month on private health cover. I left the US because as a retired firefighter we don’t have

portimao covid vaccination centre

Resident in Portugal, but can’t get a Covid Vaccine Appointment?

The Portuguese covid vaccination program, which was initially running quite slowly, has sped up in recent months. If you’ve registered with the public healthcare system, have a número de utente, and you fall into the age category that’s currently being vaccinated, you should expect a phonecall inviting you to visit your nearest vaccination centre. Unfortunately, if you moved to Portugal recently, you may not be registered on the public healthcare system. Over the past 12-24

registering at hospital

How To Register for Portuguese Healthcare & Get a Número de Utente

You’ve probably heard of the NIF, the tax number without which it’s impossible to do very much in Portugal. Well, another important number that you will need is the número de utente or SNS number.  The SNS number allows you to access the Portuguese public healthcare system. That doesn’t just mean emergency care at A&E but also access to doctors and nurses at your local centro de saúde (community healthcare centre). Because healthcare is important,

Fitness Hut: Portugal’s Chain of No Frills, Low-Cost Gyms

Fitness Hut is a Portuguese chain of low-cost gyms that’s essentially taken Ryanair or Easyjet’s approach to air travel and applied it to gyms. There are no frills like fresh towels, a friendly receptionist, or even shower gel in the showers – you’ll have to bring that with you. But, do you even need all of those things? They’re definitely nice to have, but without them Fitness Hut is able to charge membership prices that

Ella one

Where To Buy Emergency Contraception in Portugal

Accidents happen, and often those accidents happen will you’re abroad. Don’t worry, though: getting emergency contraception in Portugal is very straightforward. Emergency Contraception (the morning after pill) Emergency contraception (often called “the morning after pill”) is available at Pharmacies Family planning centres (free) Emergency rooms For most people, particularly those visiting Portugal, going to the pharmacy will be the easiest option. Finding a pharmacy There are pharmacies all over Portugal, and you will have no

A Guide to Sexual Health Services in Portugal

It’s important to keep an eye on your sexual wellbeing, and that involves regular screening and checkups.  In many countries, getting an STD test normally involves going to a special sexual health clinic (sometimes called a gum clinic). In Portugal, things are slightly different. Here in Portugal, STD testing is normally* done by your doctor rather than at a specialist STD clinic. If you’re registered and living in Portugal, you will have access to the