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updated 3:52 PM CEST, May 28, 2024
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All residents in Portugal have access to health care provided by the National Health Service (NHS), financed mainly through taxation.  ( Beveridge Group of Health Systems ).  Out-of-pocket payments have been increasing over time, not only co-payments, but particularly direct payments for private outpatient consultations, examinations and pharmaceuticals. The level of cost-sharing is highest for pharmaceutical products. Between one-fifth and one-quarter of the population has a second (or more) layer of health insurance coverage through health subsystems (for specific sectors or occupations) and voluntary health insurance (VHI). Health inequalities remain a general problem in the country. VHI coverage varies between schemes, with basic schemes covering a basic package of services, whereas more expensive schemes cover a broader set of services, including higher ceilings of health care expenses. Health care delivery is by both public and private providers. Public provision is predominant in primary care and hospital care, with a gate-keeping system in place for access to hospital care. Pharmaceutical products, diagnostic technologies and private practice by physicians constitute the bulk of private health care provision.