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Constitution of the Portuguese Republic


Article 64 (Health) (1) Everyone has the right to the protection of health and the duty to defend and promote health. (2) The right to the protection of health shall be fulfilled: (a) By means of a universal and general national health service which, with particular regard to the economic and social conditions of the citizens who use it, shall tend to be free of charge; (b) By creating economic, social, cultural and environmental conditions that particularly guarantee the protection of childhood, youth and old age; by systematically improving living and working conditions, and promoting physical fitness and sport at school and among the people; and also by developing the people’s health and hygiene education and healthy living practices. (3) In order to ensure the right to the protection of health, the state is charged, as a priority, with: (a) Guaranteeing access by every citizen, regardless of his economic situation, to preventive, curative and rehabilitative medical care; (b) Guaranteeing a rational and efficient nationwide coverage in terms of human resources and healthcare units; (c) Working towards the socialisation of the costs of medical care and medicines; (d) Disciplining and inspecting entrepreneurial and private forms of medicine and articulating them with the national health service, in such a way as to ensure adequate standards of efficiency and quality in both public and private healthcare institutions; (e) Disciplining and controlling the production, distribution, marketing, sale and use of chemical, biological and pharmaceutical products and other means of treatment and diagnosis; (f) Establishing policies for the prevention and treatment of drug abuse. (4) Management of the national health service shall be decentralised and participatory.