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The National Health Service (SNS) in Portugal has a network of bodies and services which provide complete healthcare to the whole population, through which the State guarantees peoples' right to health.

The SNS is made up of all the public entities that provide healthcare - hospitals, local health units, health centres and family health units, or groups of health centres.

Under EU legislation on Social Security, nationals from the EU member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland enjoy the same benefits as Portuguese citizens in terms of access to free or reduced-cost healthcare. In order to benefit from these services, the citizens falling in the category mentioned above need to show the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card).


Third Country nationals must hold medical insurance or benefit from other special medical coverage/arrangements for the entire stay in Portugal.


Third Country nationals, who have been residing in Portugal for more than 3 months (90 days), may wish to apply for the National Health Service Card (Cartão do Utente do SNS). The card is free of charge and gives you access to Portuguese Public Health Service. The card can be obtained in local Health Centres (Centros de Saúde) or in any Loja do Cidadão, upon presentation of residence permit.

Loja do Cidadão

Based on the concept of One Stop Shop, the Loja do Cidadão (literally, Citizens Shop) is a public service aiming at providing a multitude of citizens-oriented services (such as social security, health, immigration, etc) within a same location.



Pharmacies are open on weekdays between 9 am and 7pm (some close for lunch from 1 to 3 pm) and on Saturdays between 9am and 1pm. When open at night and/or on Sunday, pharmacies display an illuminated green cross outside. Otherwise, they have information posted on the entry indicating the nearest pharmacies that are open at night and/or on Sunday.