Looking at Health Care
The health care system in Portugal is two tiered. Private health care is available to those who can afford it. The Assembly of the Republic approved a law for basic health care in August 1990. In 1993, the Ministry of Employment and Social Security implemented an annual increase in family allowances, old age pensions, veteran's pensions and the minimum wage. Paid maternity leave and illness leave became available the same year.
Modern medical facilities are available in urban areas, and the doctor-patient ratio is good. Rural areas have few medical facilities. Today, there is a shift in the way people in Portugal seek health care. Trends show movement away from hospitals as community health centres become more popular.
Did you know?

The Portuguese enjoy drinking wine and view it as therapeutic.

Some women in Portugal experience a double work day. They work for wages and are also responsible for domestic labour. The low-paying repetitive work combined with the stresses associated with maintaining a high standard of housekeeping can be unhealthy for women. Today, many women are taking control of their health by engaging in preventive measures such as exercise and participation in sports.

The most serious infectious diseases have been eradicated or controlled in Portugal. However, air pollution levels are significant in urban areas, especially near cement factories.