Foreign Access to the SNS

Foreign Access to the SNS

Considering the entire legal and guiding framework regarding the access of foreign citizens in Portugal to health care in the NHS, including the recent publication of Dispatch No. 3863-B / 2020, of 27 March;

Considering the emergence of public health and the exceptional situation we are experiencing at the moment, in the face of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic and the epidemiological infection by COVID-19;

Considering that the Health Regulatory Authority (ERS) became aware of several complaints from foreign users evidencing constraints in access to the provision of health care;

ERS, in the exercise of its supervisory powers, alerts all establishments providing health care, in particular primary care providers, to the following:

(i) They must guarantee access to healthcare in the NHS under the same terms as Portuguese citizens:

– foreign citizens who have proof of residence or work visa authorization;

– foreign citizens who have a document issued by the parish councils, proving they have been residing in Portugal for more than 90 days;

– foreign citizens who have a document of expression of interest or order issued by SEF, document proving the scheduling at SEF or receipt proving an order made, under the terms of Dispatch no. 3863-B / 2020.

(ii) Foreign citizens who need urgent care, public health care, care for pregnant women and family planning, care for minors, vaccination care, care in the context of family reunification, care in situations of social exclusion, must guarantee access to health care in the NHS under the same terms as Portuguese citizens, even if they do not have the documents referred to in the previous paragraph;

(iii) As for other foreign citizens not included in the previous paragraphs, they must guarantee access to health care with subsequent referral to the National Immigrant Support Center or Support Place for the Integration of Immigrants.