Epidemiologists warned us that a second wave of COVID-19 would appear in the autumn, and it has here in Portugal. The case numbers began to grow at the beginning of September and have steadily risen from there. The last two days we've seen 2K in new cases reported daily and the government has instituted a state of calamity, which is an emergency declaration. 1K of those cases are here in Northern Portugal.
As with most European countries, Portugal is slowly and cautiously edging out of lockdown. We've gone from a State of Emergency to a Calamity (actually one step down) while resuming some of the activities of everyday life. So what has it been like? Let's take a look at how this country of 10.3 million souls has coped during this pandemic.
Our plans to post about the trip to Tomar and our time in Lisbon at the Embassy have been set aside by the pandemic caused by Covid-19. Like other European countries, Portugal is on the front lines. Rather than discussing the disease, we'd like to talk about how our new home is handling this crisis.
One of the questions we’re frequently asked is just how good is the healthcare in Portugal. An earlier post covered Harold’s time in the emergency room of one of Porto’s big public hospitals, and this one is about my experience in a private hospital. Let's find out how that went.
Hi! Harold here. A recent personal experience has led to this blog post and it’s all about Portugal’s healthcare system. Let’s face it, there’s no better way to learn about something than doing it yourself. Let’s dig in…
A recent survey by Bloomberg has ranked various nations' healthcare efficiency scores and the U.S. isn't doing so hot. Currently at #54, the States' high healthcare costs aren't adding any additional years to one's lifespan.
While Portugal has issues of its own (a month-long nurses' strike is likely to begin Nov. 22nd) the cost of healthcare is not egregious. As residents, we can attest to the fact that it is considerably less expensive, especially prescription medications. Because we are not citizens, we are required to have private medical insurance, which at present is about $250 per month for both of us. That's roughly equal to Medicare Part B costs, which we do not have since we live out of the country.
As promised in an earlier post about over-the-counter medications in Portugal, this one covers prescription medications. How does the system work and what can you expect in terms of pricing? Let’s find out.
Part of the reason we’ve been quieter than normal with our posting is that we finally became ill in our new country. Both Harold and I had wondered how long it would be before one, or both of us, succumbed to a cold after our arrival in Portugal. The answer was four months and Harold was the first victim, followed shortly by me. As colds go, these were nasty, lasting some ten days, with far more exhaustion than we were accustomed to. However, unlike in the past, Harold didn’t succumb to bronchitis and we suspect this is because he didn’t have to return to work ill, as was the case in the past.
But everything is a learning experience here, so we now know more about how Portugal works, at least in regards to over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Read on to see what we've discovered.
Harold is a former software engineer. Jana is an author. Together they're exploring their new life in Portugal.