World Travel Awards conquered by Portugal

Portugal has been mentioned as a leading destination for vacation in many articles and placed in the top of various rankings. This year, World Travel Awards distinguished the country with several awards in different sections.

Carvoeiro_Portugal_February_2015_02

Photo credits: Bengt Nyman

Portugal conquering hearts

2018 is definitely the year of Portugal as an unmissable touristic place. World Travel Awards awarded Lisbon as Europe’s Leading City Destination 2018 and Portugal as Europe’s Leading Destination 2018.

Also, it is the third time in a row that Lisbon receives the award of Europe’s Leading Cruise Port 2018 and many Portuguese resorts and hotels conquered a prize in World Travel Awards this year. Regarding places hidden in the countryside, Madeira Islands were awarded as Europe’s Leading Island Destination 2018 and Passadiços do Paiva (Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark) as Europe’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction 2018.

alfama_panorama

Lisbon: the chosen place for a visit and for the stay

Lisbon has been in the top of the last rankings as a city break for tourists. The Telegraph explains the main reasons why Lisbon is such a desired destination, considering its restaurants, gastronomy, architecture, street art and closeness to the beach. There are other curious facts about the city: it is one of the world’s oldest ones, it is marked by Portugal’s role in the Age of Discovery and it gets more sun than anywhere else in Europe.

However, Lisbon is just not a city for a quick visit. Very recently it became the home of some celebrities: Monica Belluci, Michael Fassbender and Christin Louboutin bought their apartments in the typical neighbourhood of Alfama while Madonna is in the city’s spotlight because of her struggle to buy her ideal Portuguese house.

What really matters when moving abroad

The living cost, the sun and the quality of life are surely crucial factors that bring so many foreigners to Portugal. Nevertheless, when choosing this country to visit or to settle, there are two essential factors that strongly influence this decision: it is a safe destination and it has one of the few good healthcare systems in the world, as stated by the World Health Organization’s Director-General.

Portugal: World’s Leading Destination

Portugal was the biggest winner at the latest World Travel Awards: the country was elected World’s Leading Destination. Lisbon got the award for the Best City Break Destination.

Lagoa das Sete Cidades, Azores

It’s the first time that an European country wins such award. Among the 17 destinations running for this recognition were countries like Brazil, Greece, USA or the Maldives. A couple of months ago Portugal had already won the award for Leading European Destination.

Portugal keeps attracting more and more tourists and foreign residents. This is another recognition adding to many accomplished during the last years. A couple of months ago, Lonely Planet placed Portugal among the top destinations for 2018.

Lisbon, once again

Lisbon, that has also been gathering multiple awards as destination for a while, was as well among the winners at the World Travel Awards Ceremony. This city was the top choice in the category for best city break destination.

 

 

 

The future of health at the Web Summit

Medical Port visited the tech conference that brought people from all over the world to Lisbon. The future of health was among the topics discussed at the Web Summit.

From alternative therapies to wearables, transplants and hybrid humans: a broad range of topics were discussed at the Web Summit.

The possibility of ever achieving a disease-free world was debated, but the opinion was clear: the majority of the attendees agreed it is quite utopic to ever achieve of such thing, despite the great advances of science.

Longevity was also discussed: could 125 be the new 80 in the future? Maybe, according to Gabriel Otte, who runs an enterprise working on disease prevention. Unfortunately, not all can be controlled by us, as the key seems to lie on a combination of genetics and lifestyle effects. However, Gabriel Otte recommends us to be as proactive about out general health as most people are with their teeth – checking it regularly and focusing on prevention.

Medical Port can help you keeping up your health and taking preventive steps during your stay in Portugal. Contact us for more information!

Lonely Planet: Portugal among the top destinations for 2018

The country comes third in the Lonely Planet ranking. This is just another of many international recognitions portraying Portugal as a desirable tourism destination.

Cascais, Portugal
Cascais, Portugal
Related: Portugal is the country to go in 2017

Already thinking about where to go next year? Lonely Planet, reknown worldwide for its travel guide books, places Portugal in third place in the top ten countries to visit next year. Last year, Lonely Planet had already featured Azores as one of the must visit regions for 2017.

The largest travel guide books publisher describes Portugal as “a dynamic center for art, culture and cuisine” along with the countries natural wonders, such as over 300 Blue Flag beaches and biosphere reserves. Check the full ranking

An established and awarded destination

a map of Portugal displaying the awards won at the World Travel awards
Related: Portugal receives 23 “World Travel Awards” – 2016

This recognition comes after multiple others throughout the last few years and emphasizes  the international appraisal of the country potential. Last month, at the World Travel Awards, Portugal got 37 “tourism oscars” . It was the most awarded country in Europe, gathering nearly 30% of the awards , including the prestigious Europe’s Leading destination along with the Leading Beach destination – the Algarve and Leading Cruise Port – Porto de Lisboa.

Lisbon: Millennials find their new home

The UK newspaper The Independent” explains why so many young professionals are calling Lisbon their new home, as the possibility to work remotely becomes more and more a reality.

Warm, vibrant, “the new capital of cool”, as we have previously described Lisbon,  keeps on attracting more and more foreigners, both tourists and new residents.

The expats mentioned on the article by the Independent seem to agree on the quality of life that the Portuguese capital has to offer. The warm weather, architecture, gastronomy and the proximity to beautiful beaches are the most common reasons attracting foreigners, in addition to a cost of living below the average among western Europe capitals, specially London.

This is a recipe for success and the proof is the increasing number of visitors in the city: over 6 million in the first semester. The number of foreign residents has also been growing (even Madonna has moved to Lisbon!), as one of the interviewees confirms ““The expat scene is a lot bigger than a few years ago”.”

Recently, the Financial Times also sought to understand why all the roads lead to Lisbon, which, according to the article, happened quite naturally. Lisbon is now an important spot for business makers and entrepreneurs. Read the full article

If, like many, you are considering moving to Lisbon, do not forget about your health! Medical Port specializes in guiding foreigners to access the healthcare they need in Portugal. Contact us!

Surrogacy in Portugal – Part 2

Surrogacy is regulated in Portugal since August. While the country puts no restriction based on nationality, the process has multiple requirements and must always happen on a voluntary basis.

For an introductory part and requirements for surrogacy, check Part 1 of this article.

The process

The process of surrogacy requires a previous authorization by the Portuguese National Council for Assisted Reproductive Technology (Conselho Nacional da Procriação Medicamente Assistida – CNPMA).

The couple requesting surrogacy must deliver their application to the CNPMA in order to be “pre-approved”. The application includes a set of documents, like the contract to be signed between the couple and the surrogate, a declaration by a psychiatrist or psychologist approving the request, a medical declaration from the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) center confirming that the woman’s impossibility to get pregnant and explaining the reproductive technique to be used, among other documents. Extra information and documents may be asked by the CNPMA at any moment during the process.

The CNPMA must provide their decision on the request within 60 days. The decision is taken on a case-by-case scenario. CNPMA will also request the opinion of the Medical College (Ordem do Médicos), though it is not binding. The Medical College will also have 60 days to provide their saying on the matter. The process goes back to the CNPMA who will accept or reject it, within 60 days.

If accepted, the process of ART must follow the same guidelines for any couple attempting ART without using surrogacy.

At the moment, there is only one request for surrogacy that has been pre-approved by the CNPMA – a heterosexual couple whose surrogate will be the mother of the female member of the couple.

Should you need addtional information on ART in Portugal, click to contact us at Medical Port.

Surrogacy in Portugal – Part 1

Since August, Portugal is one of the few European countries to have legislation on surrogacy. In some countries like France, Italy or Spain, this process is forbidden, while the law varies among other European countries where it’s legal.

Who is eligible?

Heterosexual couples and lesbian couples.

What are the main requirements?

Surrogacy is only legal when women suffer from a medical condition that leaves them permanently incapable of becoming pregnant, for instance, when the woman doesn’t have an uterus.

All the process of surrogacy can only happen on a voluntary basis. It is punishable by law to pay or being paid for surrogacy, except for the expenses involved in the process. The surrogate won’t have any right over the child once it’s born.

The conception via assisted reproductive technology must involve gametes from at least one of the members of the couple requesting the surrogacy. Surrogates cannot be a donor for the process of surrogacy involving themselves.

Foreigners and surrogacy in Portugal

Having Portuguese citizenship or living in Portugal are not requirements for surrogacy, which means foreigners, both the couple and the possible surrogate, can come to the country and undergo the process just like any Portuguese citizen. However, all the process of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) must be done in Portuguese centers and the contract signed between the couple and the surrogate must be written in Portuguese.

Further reading: Surrogacy in Portugal – Part 2: The Process

Expats have decided: Portugal has the best quality of life

Portugal is one of the biggest winners in the latest report from InterNations, an international expat community, that counted on the input of 12 500 expats.

Douro Valley, Portugal
Douro Valley, Portugal

According to the 2017 “Expat Insider Report”, Portugal is definitely a top choice among expats. The climate, the people, the culture, leisure possibilities, the easiness to settle in and safety are some of the most valued aspects.

Portugal is definitely seen as a welcoming country: the country comes first in the rankings for “friendliness”, “feeling welcome, feeling at home in the local culture”, “easiness to settle down” and “easiness to get used to the local culture”.

All these granted this country the first place on the overall ranking for quality of life. Expats are satisfied and live happily in Portugal. The report claims only 4% expressed any dissatisfaction. One of the participants in the survey claimed: “This is a gem of a country hidden in plain sight”.

Healthcare

Portugal is also included on the top ten for “Health and Wellbeing”, a category that analyses both healthcare and the quality of the environment, describing the healthcare performance above average, both for quality and affordability.

Health R&D: Portugal among the best

A recent report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) places Portugal on the 8th place in the ranking of countries with highest percentage of GDP spent on Health and medical science research and development (R&D).

Champalimaud Foundation

The report claims that Health R&D ensures the availability of appropriate health technologies, which is crucial for the protection and promotion of health. A few examples of portuguese expertise:

  1. The most influential pathologist in the world

In 2015, portuguese Manuel Sobrinho Simões was considered the most influential pathologist in the world. You can read more here.

  1. Champalimaud Foundation

The Champalimaud Foundation is a worldwide reference for oncology. It counts on experts and researchers coming from all over the world. In 2012, the Centre was named the best place worldwide (outside the USA) to do postdoctoral work, by the international journal, The Scientist. One the of the branches of the Foundation, the Center fort he Unknown is directed by Professor Zvi Fuks, a precursor of innovative radiotherapy tecnhiques like the Single Dose Image Guided Radiotherapy (SD-IGRT).   Click to learn more about Champalimaud Foundation.

  1. Internationally awarded researchers (only a few among many!)

  • João Gonçalves got the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation Award to develop a new HIV therapy
  • Ester Coutinho was awarded by the British Academy of Medical Sciences for her work on neurodevelopment in children;
  • Rita Guerreiro won the Fondazione Gino Galletti Neuroscience Prize 2015, which praised her work related to Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Miguel Seabra is Seeds of Science awardee, for his work on one of the types of blindness.

Portugal offers a welcoming and highly professional environment for your medical experience abroad. Contact us via email info@medicalport.org or call us on +351 211 379 718 if you are looking for medical treatments abroad and learn how we can help you to reach the best hospitals and clinics.

Sources: WHO – World Health Statistics 

Portugal twice on the list of best places to retire abroad

Lisbon and the Algarve region feature once again among the top-ten destinations to retire abroad, according to editor of Live and Invest Overseas.

It’s not the first time that Kathleen Pediccord, from Live an Invest Oversees chooses Portugal as a favourite for those seeking destinations to retire abroad. This time the author includes not only the Algarve but also Lisbon.

AlgarvePortuguese beach

The Algarve comes first on the list and is often feature on similar rankings. The author calls it “Europe’s most famous secret”. The region is described as a budget destination, but with a lot ot offer: Europe’s best beaches and golf courses and over 3000 hours of sunshine per year, withing a friendly and welcoming “land of cobblestoned streets and whitewashed houses with lace-patterned chimneys, surrounded everywhere by fig, olive, almond and carob trees.” What’s there not to like?

Lisbon

The european capital is often on the news for the best reasons: tourism, culture, food, safety, “coolness”, among many other features.The article emphasizes the hospitality and friendlinness of the city and the people, a recognized Portuguese trait. The city is described as sophisticated, offering a view to the past. The location by the beach, warm and sunny weather and excellent food are some of the other reasons that place the city in the top ten ranking. Additionally, Lisbon has already an established expat community, which may make it easier to settle in.

Thinking about retiring in Portugal? Do not forget about healthcare. At Medical Port, we can advise you about your health insurance option, help you to identify the most suitable healthcare provider for your needs and support on other needs related to your relocation. Email us your questions at info@medicalport.org.

Click to read the full article