I've lived here for 5 years, registered with family doctor. have N.IF and health card. Now my local Centro de Saude has told me I must have a Social Security number or I will not be able to see my family doctor as from Friday 16th Sept. I don't have a social security number because I am retired and don't claim any benefits. When I visited the social security office they gave me a mass of forms to fill in but I'm sure not all of them are relevant. I do understand and speak Portuguese, I know what the words mean but not always the intent behind them! Never had this problem before. They tell me the rules have changed, unfortunately no-one seems to know what this is about or be able to help me. Is there anyone out there who has this problem or any information which might help my wife and I fight through the maze of red tape? If so can you post a comment or, better still, contact me at: email@example.com Thanks.
I'm on the public system and I have a Numero Utente that I present when I go to a doctor. I have a NIF but I don't have a social security number because I haven't and don't pay into the system in the EU or UK. So far I haven't been told about any changes and hope you get this taken care of.
standerson. LucyinLisbon, jackson I think you will be asked for this in due course, if you have not made contributions in either the UK or any other country you are technically not entitled for NHS treatment in any of them, even the UK! I have found out that this is all about reciprocal agreements between EU countries, in other words the medical costs you incur must be paid by the member state where you have paid in your contributions. If I were to fall ill and need expensive treatment, the final bill for this would end up in England who would have to pay the Portuguese, therefore you need proof that you qualify for all the usual benefits in a member state so that another member state can recoup money paid out on your behalf. As my wife and I are pensioners we had no trouble, the key to the whole thing is form S1 which is issued by your country of origin and contains all the necessary info. to enable another country to do all the above. After a bit of research and hoofing around (The Loja Cidadao were particularly helpful) we ended up at our local Social Security (ISS) office and were lucky enough to find a lady who was very helpful. As soon as she asked for S1 and we produced it there was no problem, usual forms to fill out with usual questions, names DOB, parents names etc, we had to show passports, fiscal card, proof of residence (residents permit was accepted) and that was about it. Details entered into computer and Social Security number issued there and then. Back to the doctor with requisite bumf. entered into another computer and "Ja esta" that was it. If you have never paid into or been part of the SS system of any member state you might well have a problem, it could be argued that if you have never paid in, you are not entitled to benefit from free healthcare but this could now be a problem in any member state, including the UK. From the perspective of a country who might have to incur financial costs repairing a broken Brit., you can see that they would want to recoup their money somehow and of course these agreements are reciprocal. I think, before the so-called financial crisis, there wasn't as much attention paid to the letter of the law but that has changed.As regards the form S!. We were sent ours purely because my wife recently reached pensionable age and this came through with a load of other stuff. Other information included the fact that the issue of the European Health Insurance Card must now be done by your country of origin, I.E, even though I am a Portuguese resident the EHIC must now be issued by the UK and not Portugal. Having handed in our formS1 this won't be a problem because one copy of it is returned to the UK who will, in due course, send yet another form to us which we will fill in and then receive the card from UK.I must stress that all the above relates only to our own experience, not necessarily anyone else's. I know that if you have an EHIC it entitles you to free treatment in other member states but not, necessarily, the right to register with a family doctor. You may have to go to the nearest Cenrto de Saude and just take potluck any time you may need attention.Sorry about the rambling nature of this reply, I can only tell you what happened to me. If you want to discuss this further, it may be better to use firstname.lastname@example.org or wait until something official appears on this website.