Healthcare in Ericeira: Public Services

Centro de saude Mafra Norte. Foto de Move To Ericeira

What to do in an emergency

For life-threatening events, call 112 for assistance, which is the national emergency number.

To find out where to go, considering your case and location, call Saude 24 on 808 24 24 24. This is the contact center for the NHS.

On Emergencies, you can go to any public hospital. If you are in Ericeira, this may be the Hospital Distrital de Torres Vedras, the Hospital Santa Maria in Lisbon, or the Hospital Beatriz Ângelo in Loures, for instance.

On your visit to the hospital, expect to pay a fee between 14 and 18 euros, plus a small percentage for any medical exam. Except, if you have been referred by Saude 24.

Healthcare in Ericeira: The Regional Network

The health care in Ericeira is under the regional network umbrella of the Centro Hospitalar do Oeste (CHO). The CHO includes all the hospitals and health centers/GPs on the coastal stretch, from Mafra to the south of Nazare. As a whole, the regional service responds to a total population of just under 300 000.

Healthcare in Ericeira: Our Local Service

The public healthcare in Ericeira is given by the Centro de saúde de Mafra – Extensão de Ericeira. Despite being only 900 meters away from the main square Jogo da Bola, it is unlikely that you will ever stumble on it by chance. Unless, of course, you are staying in one of the many neighboring Bed & Breakfast.

Centro de saude da Ericeira. Unidade de Saude Familiar Ouriceira
Public Health Center in Ericeira, USF Ouriceira

Recently, primary healthcare in Portugal has gone through a reform. Many health centers are now Family Health Unit, Unidade de Saude Familiar (USF), in Portuguese. The name has changed to reflect the new vision of care, centered on the patient as a whole. This opposes the previous way of thinking, which was focused on the problem.

Nowadays, USFs throughout the country value the continuity of care and aim to involve the family, hoping to provide meaningful care. These units work with a family doctor, as well as with a family nurse. Therefore, your doctor and nurse are responsible for overseeing the health care plan for you and your family, from conception to follow-up.

Getting There

If your starting point is the town center, go up to the main road, follow left towards the fire station, turn the first right at the traffic lights immediately after that. Then, take the second left and you will see the health center building at the top of the hill, with a wonderful sea view.

  • Address: Rua Frei Fernão Rodrigues Monteiro, 2655-242 Ericeira.
  • Opening time: Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 16:00
  • Contact number: 261860650/ 261860651

Same Day Appointments

With or without an allocated doctor, you may still be able to book a same-day appointment. You can do this at the health center in Ericeira, from 8:00 am. The earlier you get there, the more likely you are to secure an appointment. Otherwise, go straight to the Mafra Norte health center.

Healthcare in Ericeira: My Family Doctor

As a new patient to the health center Ericeira, you will not be allocated a family doctor. Instead, you will be registered as a sem medico – patient without a family doctor. This is how things normally work nationwide. New patients are allocated a family doctor when they become active users. One becomes an active user by effectively booking and attending to their appointments.

Our family doctors in Ericeira are Dr. Nelson Milagre, who is also a Pediatrician at the Torres Vedras Hospital, and most recently, Dr. Tania.

These doctors are currently operating at full capacity and can not accommodate new patients. This might change when the number of registered patients rises further up, to enable hiring the third doctor.

Meanwhile, new patients to the health care in Ericeira should book their doctor’s appointments in Mafra. Hopefully, shortly after you become an active user, you will be then allocated a doctor.

The Brand-new Mafra Norte Health center

Mafra Norte Health Center, main entrance

The Centro the Saude Mafra Norte is the newly opened health center in town. The facilities are modern, clean and much bigger than the old ones. I have only used this service once so far and was rather well impressed. Arriving at 4:45 p.m. on a Friday, I was seen at 18:15. The doctor was attentive and I was reassured with his recommendations.

Booking an Appointment

Once registered in Ericeira, you can book your doctor’s appointment by telephone, dialing +351 261 818 100, option 3. Alternatively, you may go to the health center in Mafra. Going through the aim entrance, follow the yellow signs to Modulo Polivalente.

The waiting time for routine appointments is usually between 1 to 2 weeks.

Prescriptions and Certificates

All prescriptions and immunization certificates are requested and collected from Monday to Friday, around lunchtime: from 12:30 to 13:00 and from 14:30 to 15:30.

Same day Appointments

Atendimento Complementar is the public, 24 hours service, for patients who need a same-day appointment due to acute disease or episode.

keep in mind, however, that this is not an emergency room. The service can only handle minor, non-life-threatening events. The unit does not dispose of the complementary means of diagnosis normal in a hospital setting.

Follow the sign to Atendimento Complementar, for a same-day appointment at Unidade de Saude Mafra Norte

Getting there: follow the sign to Atendimento Complementar. This is a secondary entrance, to the side of the building, with access from the lower car park.

Routine Exams

You will need to book a consultation. Then, the doctor seeing you will be able to access and refer, appropriately.

Specialty Appointment

If you need to see a specialist, your family doctor will be able to arrange this for you.

Doctors normally refer patients to the closest hospital with the specialty required. Therefore, the waiting time will depend on the health information that your doctor writes down in the referral, as well as on the hospital’s availability.

At the point of referral, the doctor does not know what the waiting time in each hospital is. Instead, the hospital hosting the appointment will contact the patient with the date.

Getting There

  • Address: Largo Cel. Brito Gorjão 2640, 2640-537 Mafra
  • Contact details: +351 261 818 100, option 3 for sem medicos
  • Opening time: 08: 00 to 13:00 & 14:00 to 16:00 for USF & UCSP (sem medicos).
    24 hours for same for appointments, Atendimento Complementar.

Appointment Fees

The 18 years-old and above generally pay a € 4.50 consultation fee, either in Ericeira or in Mafra. There are exceptions to this, such as pregnancy, for example.

Healthcare in Ericeira: EU Citizens Registration

You can register with the healthcare in Ericeira and the NHS for free, and at the same time. For that, you will need the EU Registration Certificate, as you have been living in Portugal for at least 90 days. Find out how to make your EU Registration Certificate here.

Once you are in healthcare in Ericeira, you will need to book an appointment with a doctor to become an active user. Active users have a Family Doctor, when available.

In case you are still wondering if you should register with the NHS, here are some advantages:

  1. access to healthcare
  2. referral for free or partially paid medical exams
  3. Prescriptions renewal
  4. discount when buying meds
  5. immunization (or, termo de resbonsabilidade). Your child will need this for enrolling at school

Healthcare in Ericeira: Non-EU Citizens Registration

If you are a non-EU citizen who needs medical attention, go straight to Mafra Norte or, to a hospital of your choice. This visit and treatment will be fully charged unless you have one of the following:

  1. a private health insurance
  2. CDAM (former PB4) if you are Brazilian and do not hold a residency permit

Healthcare in Ericeira: Private Specialist Appointments

If you would rather go straight to a specialist, you may be able to find this privately. The fees are around 70 euros for a self-funded consultation. However, you might as well use health insurance, called acordo, in Portuguese.

You can check on a list of insurance companies commonly used here.

For the list and contact of health centers and clinics in Ericeira and surroundings, click here.

The private, branch-clinic CUF in Mafra offers a wide range of consultations and exams. However, you must have health insurance to be seen there.

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2 thoughts on “Healthcare in Ericeira: Public Services

    1. Hi Mike,

      Thank you for asking.

      As far as I am aware, foreigners have access to public healthcare upon payment of a small fee, same as nationals, in the following situations:

      – If you are citizen of one of the 27 Member States of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Make sure to have with you the European disease insurance card, which is free and valid for 3 years.

      – If you are a citizen of one of the countries with which Portugal has a bilateral agreement that includes health care, such as Brazil, Cape Verde, Andorra, Quebec, Morocco and Tunisia, provided you have the document which proves that you are entitled to that service back home.

      – Third countries citizens who have a valid residence visa and proof of application for a residence permit issued by SEF.

      – Third counties citizens who have a valid residence permit.

      Third countries nationals who do not meet the conditions above mentioned must have travel medical insurance or may have to pay full price. Unless their treatment is a matter of public health.

      I hope this is helpful.

      All the best,


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