Duties and Rights


The user is entitled to choose among the services and healthcare providers, to the extent of the existing resources and the organizational rules of the health services.

Consent or refusal

Patients should give their consent or refusal of healthcare provision in a free and informed manner.
The user may, at any moment of the healthcare provision, revoke his/her consent.

Suitability of healthcare provision

The user is entitled to receive, promptly or within a medically acceptable period, the healthcare he/she needs.
The user is entitled to receive the most suitable and most technically correct healthcare.
The healthcare should be provided humanely and with respect for the user.
In non-scheduled face-to-face service and under identical seriousness and complexity medical condition, users with 60% or greater disability or impairment should be given priority.

Personal data and private life protection

The user is entitled to the protection of personal data and life privacy.

The health data processing should comply with the provisions of the law and should be suitable, pertinent and not excessive.
The user has the right to access his/her collected personal data and may demand the amendment of inaccurate information and the inclusion of totally or partially missing information.

Confidentiality of personal data

The user is entitled to the confidentiality of his/her personal data.
Health professionals are under the obligation to protect the confidentiality of facts they learn while carrying out their duties, except if the law provides otherwise or in case there is a judicial decision requiring its disclosure.


The user is entitled to be informed by the healthcare provider about his/her condition, the possible treatment alternatives and the likely evolution of his/her illness.
The information should be conveyed in an accessible, objective, full and intelligible form.

Spiritual and religious support

The user is entitled to religious support, regardless of his/her professed religion.
The legally recognised churches or religious communities are ensured the conditions to freely exercise the requested spiritual and religious support to the users hospitalised in NHS healthcare facilities, according to the provisions of the law.

To claim and lodge a complaint

The user is entitled to claim and lodge a complaint in the healthcare facilities and to receive compensation for damages suffered.

The claims and complaints may be made in the complaints book, online forms made available on the Health Regulation Authority and IPO Lisboa websites, by letter, fax or email, and they must get a reply according to the provisions of the law.

The health departments, the providers of health goods and services and the health operators are under the obligation to have a complaints book which can be filled in by whoever asks for it.


The user is entitled to constitute bodies to represent them and stand up for his/her interests, such as associations for the promotion and defence of health or groups of friends of healthcare facilities.

Minores and handicapped people

The legal representatives of minors and handicapped people may exercise the later’ rights, namely refusing assistance, in compliance with the constitutional principles.

Accompanying person

In NHS emergency rooms.

Of pregnant women admitted at a healthcare facility, during all phases of labour.

Of children, people with disability, dependent people and people with incurable advanced stage disease and in final stage of their lives admitted at a healthcare facility.


1.  To respect the other users and health professionals’ rights with whom they relate.

2. To respect the rules governing the organization and operation of the departments and health facilities.

3. To cooperate with health professionals in all aspects regarding their situation.

4. To pay the costs incurred with the provision of healthcare, where appropriate.