Rights and Duties
Patients’ rights and duties in the National Health Sysyem (NHS) are established in Law n.º 15/2014, of 21 march.
This is a summary aiming at helping patients and should not avoid consulting applicable national legislation.
Right to choose
The patient has the right to choose health services, taking into account available resources and health services’ organisation rules.
Right to consent or refusal
The consent or refusal should be declared in a free and informed manner.
At any moment of healthcare provision, the patient may revoke his/her consent.
Right to receive an adequate healthcare provision
Patient has the right to receive the healthcare he/she requires, swiftly or within a clinically acceptable period of time, according to the situation.
Patient has the right to receive the most adequate and tecnically correct healthcare.
Healthcare should be provided in a human manner and with respect by the patient.
Right to the protection of personal data and private life
The patient holds fully its rights of data protection and reserve of private life.
The management of health data should respect applicable legislation, be adequate and not excessive.
The patient may acess his/her personal data and demand its retification and/or the addition of missing information, according to the law.
Right to confidentiality
Health services’ users have the right to confidentiality of their personal data.
Healthcare professionals are obliged to the duty of confidentiality regarding facts ocurred within the exercise of their duties, except if a specific law or judicial decision imposes its revelation.
Right to information
Patient has the right to be informed by his/her healthcare provider on his/her situation, on treatment alternatives and the evolution of his/her clinical condition.
The information should be conveyed in an accessible, objective, complete and clear manner.
Right to spiritual and religious assistance
Patient has the right to religious assistance, regardless of his/her religion.
The NHS should ensure necessary conditions to a free exercise of spiritual and religious practice to inpatients belonging to churches and religous communities legally recognized.
Right to present complaints
The patient has the right to complain and present a complaint in health instituitions, as well as to be indemned by losses he/she may have incurred .
Complaints may be presented in the Complaints Book (yellow book), in the electronic form available at the Health Regulator website, or by letter, fax or email. Replies are mandatory, as foreseen in the applicable law. Patients may also acess to Frequently Asked Questions available by the regulator.
Health services, suppliers of goods and health services and health operators must have a Complaints Book (yellow book), that may be filled by whoever requests it.
Right of association
The patient has the right to constitute entities which represent and defend his/her rights and interests, namely in the way of associations for the promotion and protection of health and other groups of firends of health establishments.
Right of minors and disabled
Minors’ legal representatives and disabled may exercise their rights, namely the right to refuse assistance, taking into account constitutional provisions.
Right of accompany
The right of accompany is recognised:
- In NHS emergency services.
- To inpatient pregnants in NHS health institutions, during all phases of labor.
- To inpatient children in NHS health institutions, disabled, people with dependency or persons with an incurable disease or terminal condition.
Respect the rights of other patients.
Respect the rights of healthcare profiessionals.
Respect the rules of organization and functionning of health services and institutions.
Collaborate with healthcare professionals in all aspects related with his/her condition.
Pay charges related with the healthcare provision, if applicable.
Maximum Waiting Times for Response
Established by Order n.º 87/2015, of 23 de march.
|Response on the same day of registry|
Non related to acute disease
|15 days after the request|
Renovation of medical prescription (chronic disease)
|72 hours after the request|
Medical consultation at patients residence (upon patients’ request)
|24 hours if justification is accepted|
First medical appointment recommended from Primary Healthcare
High priority – 30 dias
Priority – 60 days
Normal – 150 days
First medical appointment in a suspect or confirmed oncological disease
Priority “level 3” – 7 consecutive days
Priority “level 2” – 15 consecutive days
Priority “level 1” – 30 consecutive days
Complementary diagnostics and therapeutics tests
Cardic catheterization – 30 days
Cardiac pacemaker – 30 days
Level 4 – 72 hours after cirurgic recommendation
Level 3 – 15 consecutive days after cirurgic recommendation
Level 2 – 60 consecutive days after cirurgic recommendation
Level 1 – 270 consecutive days after clinical indication
Programmed cirurgy in oncological disease
Priority level 4 – 72 hours
Priority level 3 – 15 consecutive days
Priority level 2 – 45 consecutive days
Priority level 1 – 60 consecutive days
Healthcare providers with conventions with the NHS
|According to waiting times set in the convention contract.|