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First doctors appointment

First doctors appointment

Old Feb 16th 2024, 5:11 pm
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Default First doctors appointment

I have my first ever appointment later this month.
But I've just heard that you need a NISS for an appointment, or you pay a fine.

Is this something quite new?
Has anyone been turned away because they don't have a NISS?
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Old Feb 16th 2024, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: First doctors appointment

This summary appeared in the AFPOP Newsletter this week :
Social Security number (NISS)
Due to the reforms in the Portuguese health system, the Centro de Saúde computer systems are now required to have the Portuguese social security number (NISS) introduced for everyone. This means that if you have not yet obtained your NISS in Portugal or you have one but never got it registered in your file at the Centro de Saúde, you will be asked for your NISS next time you go to the Centro de Saúde. If you are not able to present a NISS, you will be charged around €35 for a consultation. The good news is that all foreign Residents in Portugal are now able to get a NISS, which is easily requested online.

If you receive a state pension from an EU country or UK, you will first need to request an S1 form from your pension service in order to present that to the Segurança Social when applying for the NISS.

Some Members may not remember if they have a NISS already or if the NISS has been registered in your file at the Centro de Saúde, if in doubt, you can ask at the Centro de Saúde where you are registered.

Personally I doubt if they will charge you the first time you visit but definitely worth doing something about getting a number

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Old Feb 17th 2024, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: First doctors appointment

Have the government not made an announcement about this?

I would have thought they would be the first to do so, and that they would have given a date for starting to comply with it.
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Old Feb 18th 2024, 6:24 am
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Default Re: First doctors appointment

I'm going to see the doc this morning, I'll let you know.
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Old Feb 18th 2024, 9:38 am
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Default Re: First doctors appointment

Well, no problem at all.

I don't have a social security number and wasn't made to pay for the appointment.

Maybe I'll wait until I hear something from an official source.
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Old Feb 18th 2024, 10:46 am
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Default Re: First doctors appointment

Originally Posted by ouriquejan
Well, no problem at all.

I don't have a social security number and wasn't made to pay for the appointment.

Maybe I'll wait until I hear something from an official source.
If either you or your husband is in receipt of a UK state pension, wouldn't you have gone through the S1 form registration procedure at some stage?

That would have got you a Social Security number, even though you may not be aware of it.
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Old Feb 18th 2024, 10:46 am
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Default Re: First doctors appointment

Originally Posted by ricko
Have the government not made an announcement about this?

I would have thought they would be the first to do so, and that they would have given a date for starting to comply with it.

Any link to gov announcement? Fortunately, I've not had to visit a health centre here for several years but am registered with a doctor. Having had permanent residence since well before Brexit, I applied for social security number 2 or 3 years ago and was refused on the grounds I have never worked here or contributed. As still tax resident in UK, have not applied for S1. Friends, two of whom with terminal cancer, are using the health services don't have NISS numbers and not being charged,
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Old Feb 18th 2024, 11:32 am
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Default Re: First doctors appointment

You would have thought we had it, Red Eric, as some-one was supposed to sort all of that out for us when we first moved here.

But looking at our residençia cards, there is a x where the SS number is supposed to be.

I'll ask a Portuguese friend tomorrow, to look into it for me.
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Old Feb 18th 2024, 12:59 pm
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Default Re: First doctors appointment

Originally Posted by ouriquejan
[...]But looking at our residençia cards, there is a x where the SS number is supposed to be.[...]
I don't think that's of any significance - SEF don't have access to Social Security records and would only have put your SS number on the card if you'd informed them of it when you applied. It's not on mine either, for that reason.

A more reliable indicator as to whether SNS has a SS number on your records is whether they're able to prescribe analyses etc where there's a general exemption from charges to the patient. Sometime last year, my doctor was unable to check the "exempt" box when issuing such a prescription and said I'd have to go to Social Security and apply for a NISS before she could proceed. I checked it out and found I could apply online, only when doing so I got knocked back with an error message telling me I couldn't be issued with a number as I already had one (obviously I didn't know that and couldn't remember why it would have been the case), although it wasn't helpful enough to do the sensible thing and tell me what it was. So I had to go in and discuss it with Social Security.

If you're getting free of charge analyses etc no problem, I'd say chances are you have a NISS and it's on your SNS record.
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Old Feb 18th 2024, 1:39 pm
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Default Re: First doctors appointment

I get free blood analysis, definitely do not have a niss number
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Old Feb 18th 2024, 1:45 pm
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Default Re: First doctors appointment

Originally Posted by dingg
I get free blood analysis, definitely do not have a niss number
Is it possible you have a special exemption for that?
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Old Feb 18th 2024, 2:23 pm
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Default Re: First doctors appointment

Originally Posted by dingg
I get free blood analysis, definitely do not have a niss number
I'll have to check up when/if I have to visit health centre but have a feeling that when originally registering under my initial 5 year residence, they entered UK EHIC number in the record.
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Old Feb 18th 2024, 4:41 pm
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Default Re: First doctors appointment

Originally Posted by Red Eric
Is it possible you have a special exemption for that?

No I haven't, it was 6e a go about 4 years ago and 4.5e to see the doctor, since covid charging seems to have stopped
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Old Feb 18th 2024, 4:42 pm
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Default Re: First doctors appointment

Originally Posted by GrahamF
I'll have to check up when/if I have to visit health centre but have a feeling that when originally registering under my initial 5 year residence, they entered UK EHIC number in the record.

The centre do saude definitely wanted to see my uk ehic when we first registered with them....
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Old Feb 18th 2024, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: First doctors appointment

Originally Posted by dingg
The centre do saude definitely wanted to see my uk ehic when we first registered with them....


Well that's a definite no-no and, I'd venture, a time-bomb ticking away on both sides. You wouldn't want that blowing up at the most inopportune moment.

OK then, let me amend my statement to say that if the PT SNS isn't mugging the UK NHS for tourist health treatment costs they're not due when they should be dealing properly with assigning resident healthcare costs, then you will need to have a PT NISS registered with them to get the free analyses etc.
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