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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wondering if anyone else has the same problem, or if indeed has a solution. I have lived in Portugal for the last 3 years with my children. I am British and my children hold British passports. My children were born in the EU, but not in Portugal. I am not part of the Portuguese social security system as I am now retired. I have my own private health insurance and have never needed the Portuguese health system. However, the other day there was an accident, where one of my children needed immediate medical attention at the local hospital. I had great difficulty getting my child admitted to see an emergency doctor because we are not part of the social security system and do not hold a Cartão do Utente.
I am now very worried for any future needs. This time, eventually we were seen by a doctor and it was nothing serious. What if there is a next time? What are our rights as a European citizen living in Portugal, but not part of their Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS).

Many thanks.
 

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As you've been here for 3 years you should have registered your Residency here especially as children are involved without it you put yourself and them at risk in not being part of the system and being able to access any part of the system when required, if you visit any other EU country the same applies as you won't have EHIC cards for emergency treatment even in UK

Your rights as EU Citizens mean you can work, live, retire here but it also means you must register that Residence (within 4 months of arriving) and follow the framework of Portuguese Law so it's difficult to insist on hospital, healthcare if you don't follow regs.

Your lucky that Portugal says
"The Portuguese Constitution states that all citizens - even foreign - are entitled to the provision of global health care, and for this reason, all existing health resources should be made ​​available on the exact extent of the needs of each and regardless of their economic, social and cultural. This right is governed by Order no. # 25 360/2001 ."

but this doesn't mean that you can ignore the requirement to registering residence and with the Health Service and Social Security not doing so will mean you might well get treatment but not at the same fees as a Portuguese National and with more difficulty as you've experienced.

If you're retired and receive a UK State Pension it's so easy, S1 from UK you register at Social Security then at your health centre children as well, if you're not of State retirement age you are still entitled providing you are legal residents to register with the National Health Service, you require ID & Residence, you also register children at same time.
This one is very dependent on your Centro de Saude, one will register you within rules no problem but another might not and will put up obstacles but you can force the issue

Some areas have a new system which will also reguire a Social Security number for you to be entitled to the same fees as a Portuguese National, again you can register for one, it does not mean that you have to pay Nat Ins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am resident

Thank you so much for your reply and good advice. Together with my children we are actually fully resident. We registered when we arrived in Portugal and have our residency certificates. After 5 years here we will be getting our permanent residency next year.

My problem was as I explained, the local hospital was very difficult in treating my daughter as we did not have the Cartão do Utente. Even though we has our residency certificates. The man at the hospital told me about the Cartão do Utente.whic is issued at the centro de saude. I had never been there before as my private health insurance covers private visits. At the Centro de Saude, the woman refused to give me the forms to inscribe to the Cartão do Utente, as I was not part of their social security system. So I went away empty handed and frustrated.

However I have now learnt from the Portal da Saude, as a resident, it is my constitutional right to have the Cartão do Utente. Even without a social security number. So Monday I will be back, shoving the printed pages, (in Portuguese), under her nose and not leave until I have my papers. It is my constitutional right. Even if she refuses, it clearly states that I should report the person in the livro de reclamações.

This is what you must have sent me about Order no. # 25 360/2001 .

Thank you again for your very kind help and advice. Let's see what happens on Monday.
 

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Nice to know you are Residents, certainly in some areas with a new system the Social Security number is necessary without you should be able to register but might not pay the same charges or discounted prescription as the Portuguese. The Portal de Saude does actually state a Social Security number is reguired

If your Centre de Saude follow this or some are just awkward:) it's better to go to your nearest Citizens Shop or Regional Portal do Cidadão - Página Inicial and enroll there (theres also information on registering on this site) reason it's better not to have a stand up fight with a local place you might need to use:)

If you need a Social Security number two ways of getting one, you go and register for one, I don't believe this means you must pay S/S contributions or you go to S/S and get the EU Portuguese equivalent of a EHIC card which you and your children would reguire for any emergency treatment in EU outside Portugal and UK, which automatically gives you a S/S number

Even easier is if you are of UK pension age or a dependent of someone who is

P.S. your Permanent resident card next year is like a passport needs renewing every 10 years
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you again for your ever precious advice. Indeed I have already been to the Portal do Cidadão, which happens to be located in our Camera Municipal. It was easy as 1.2.3. As you said it is better than having a fight with the other place.

It was just unlucky to have met a jobsworth that didn't want to work on a Friday.

Best regards to you and thanks again.
 
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