Move over Lisbon, Oporto is the coolest city…

… at least for 8 reasons. Lisbon remains the city receiving more tourists in Portugal, but CNN explains why Oporto has much to offer as well. 

CNN describes Oporto as “a place to go for a unique blend of history, balmy weather, culture, cooking and nightlife.” After all, this is the European best destination for 2017 . Here is what they emphasize:

Porto downtown

Landscape, beaches and authenticity

Lisbon has the Tagus river but Douro’s landscape – a World Heritage Site – with its slopes and vineyards going on and on is one of a kind. The view of the river passing by the city, with colourful houses on Oporto side and wine cellars on the opposite side is also breathtaking.  Additionally, the riverside area in Oporto – Ribeira – has been able to keep its authenticity, unlike some neighbourhoods in the capital. The article also dares to mention the beaches! Lisbon is not far from the beach but Oporto is even closer! Sure the water is a bit chillier, but there are kilometres and kilometres of beautiful beaches nearby, either if you head north or south.

Eating, drinking and going out

Port wine is always on the list when talking about Oporto, so is Café Majestic, an iconic “belle epoque-style” coffee house. Tripes – “a mess of white beans fortified with pig’s ear, calves’ foot, cow’s stomach (aka tripe) and a cartload of other chewy bits” has such symbolism to the city that its inhabitants are gently called “tripeiros” – tripe eaters. Though considerably smaller than Lisbon, Porto also has an exciting nightlife environment to offer.

You can read the full article here.

World Hepatitis Day 2017

Hepatitis is a liver inflammation caused by a virus. Since 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) brings awareness to this disease every 28th of July. The motto for this year is: “to eliminate hepatitis.”

Image Credits: World Health Organization

There are five hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D and E. Treating hepatitis can be a simple process (or it can be untreatable), depending on the type of hepatitis, its stage of development and the damage already done to the liver. In the worst case scenarios, acute or chronic hepatitis can lead to more serious problems such as cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure.

According to a report from the WHO, viruses B and C are responsible for 96% of hepatitis-related deaths. In 2015, there were nearly 325 million cases of hepatitis worldwide, but treatment only reaches a small percentage of individuals, especially in low income countries. In the same year, hepatitis caused the death of 1.3 million people.

Hepatitis viruses have different incubation periods and show no symptoms for long periods of time, but a simple blood test can detect the virus. Learn more about the virus and how they can spread.

Prevention is the key, so check your health regularly. Contact Medical Port if you want to arrange a medical check-up during a visit to Portugal! 

 

Read more: http://www.who.int/campaigns/hepatitis-day/2017/en/

More foreigners are moving to Portugal

Nearly 400 000 foreigners are living in Portugal. Unlike previous years, more individuals are coming from European Union countries.

A recent report by the Immigration and Border Service in Portugal reveals that more foreigners are choosing to live in Portugal. Nationals from Portuguese speaking countries, like Angola and Brazil, continue to represent a great part of foreign residents in Portugal, but their numbers are decreasing, while residents from other countries of origin are growing. France, UK, Spain and China are the ones with higher growing rates. At a slower rate, yet increasing, is also the number of American residents in Portugal.

According to the report, friendly taxation for non habitual residents, as well as being perceived as a safe country are some of the reasons to attract foreigners.

Read more about why you shoud consider moving to Portugal:

Healthcare in Portugal

When moving to a new country, the quality of healthcare services is an important variable in the decision process. Portugal stands for a quality healthcare system. Let us help you in your healthcare needs. We work with a wide range of distinctive health partners and cover multiple specialties. Click to know more:

 

 

 

 

 

You can also click to contact us via email.

Midyear review: Portugal’s still on the rise

Portugal continues to give positive signs of economic growth and increases its attractiveness for foreign investment. Tourism remains a boost to the economy.

A welcoming country for tourists


Portugal came 4th worldwide in for most tourist-friendly destinations in the latest ranking from the World Economic Forum, providing quality touristic infrastructure and services to visitors and internal and international security.

This country is recognized as one of the safest in nations in the world. Acording to the latest quaterly report from the European Travel Commission, safety is one of the main concerns of tourists when choosing where to go, and Portugal is among the fastest growing destinations in Europe.

Therefore, tourism remains one of the main highlights. The country as a whole as well as different cities and regions have been receiving multiple awards. Read more: Portugal is the country to go in 2017 

Impressive economic recovery and foreign investment

During a recent visit to Portugal, Pierre Moscovici, the European commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, congratulated Portugal on the impressive economic progress that the country achieved after the crisis, emphasising the growth of foreign investment and the role of tourism.

Indeed, Portugal’s attractiveness is increasing among investors. The report from the consultancy firm EY (part of Ernst&Young) reveals that Portugal is one of the European countries attracting higher investment intentions. The social estability, workers’ qualifications and labour costs are the three most attractive aspects for investors.

The report defends that Tourism and the Information Technology field will be key sectors for the development of the portuguese economy. It also emphasizes the startup environment, which is considered as good as in other developed European countries, while having room for improvement. Read more: Brand Portugal on the rise

(More) reasons to visit or to move to Lisbon

Lisbon cultural side and the welcoming start-up environment are the recent aspects of this city that have been recognized abroad. The capital of Portugal remains an attractive and trendy destination for tourists, people looking to relocate and entrepeneurs.

Cultural Dynamism

Lisbon got the first place in the “Culture Dynamism” ranking among cities between 500 000 and 1 million inhabitants, part of the “The Culture and Creative Cities Monitor” developed by the European Comission. The report explains how it got the top position: “In recent years, the local authorities have taken new action to strengthen the economic potential of arts, culture and creativity. Co-working spaces, fab labs and start-up incubators are now available in the rehabilitated urban areas. In addition to long-lived international events such as the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, the Lisbon Fashion Week and the Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival, the city has started to host new creativity-related events, such as the European Creative Hubs Forum in 2015, connecting over 200 creative hubs across Europe.

If you are interested in exploring the city, the Guardian leaves you some tips in a recent article:

  • Gulbenkian Museum and the gardens surrounding it, perfect for a relaxed afternoon under the sun.
  • the MAAT, the most recent museum of the city and currently shortlisted in the category “Building of the year” in the World Architecture Festival.
  • flea markets and bric-a-brac stores in different parts of the city.
  • as well as multiple places to eat! Read the full article to learn more! 

Start up environment

In the ranking by “PeoplePerHour”, a large UK-based platform for freelancers, Lisbon comes in fourth place in a world ranking, ahead of cities like San Diego (USA) and London (UK). The ranking evaluates aspects like life quality, cost of offices and easinness to start a new business.

Portugal is also the host city of the reknown WebSummit, “the largest tech conference in the world”, yet another proof of the city’s value for entrepeneurs.

 

 

Getting a Medical Second Opinion

Looking for a medical second opinion isn’t about mistrusting your doctor, it is about being aware about your health status and alternatives and making informed decisions when faced with a complex diagnosis.

A second opinion can be used to confirm a health condition or to verify the best treatment option for an established diagnosis. As in any other field, errors can happen due to complexity of cases or lack of deep expertise and practice. It’s hard to quantify the number of misdiagnosis, but an often quoted study from the American Journal of Medicine claims the rate of misdiagnosis can vary between less than 5% up to 15%[1], depending on the medical field.

Getting a second opinion is, therefore, a valuable resource. It will guarantee you an external point of view that may see something the previous doctor missed, complement the existing diagnosis with useful details and/or advise on other treatment options. On the contrary, if a second opinion confirms all that has been previously diagnosed, it is also an extra reassurance for the patient.

Click on the image to be redirected to our webpage dedicated to Clínica Universitária de Navarra.

Remote Second Opinion

It is also possible to get a second opinion remotly. At Clínica Universitária de Navarra , one of the best private hospitals in Spain, the doctors will analyse your recent medical exams and medical history and provide you with an evaluation within a maximum period of 15 working days. The doctors also contact you to explain their diagnosis and their opinion about the alternatives you have to deal with your medical condition. Contact us if you wish to get a medical second opinion from Clínica Universitária de Navarra.

 

[1] http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(08)00040-5/pdf

What to visit in Portugal this summer

Portugal goes beyond Lisbon, Porto and Algarve. During the last few weeks regions like Alentejo, the Azores and Setúbal have hit the spotlight as well.

Praia dos Galapinhos, Setúbal and Azores

After the city of Oporto was nominated “Best European Destination” , another two distinctions come from the renowned website: Praia dos Galapinhos was elected the most beautiful beach in Europe and the Azores won the category of Best Landscapes.

Praia dos Galapinhos is located in Setúbal, south of Lisbon. Crystal blue water and white sand, sided by green nature. What’s there not to like? The website recommends you to visit not ony this beach but admire all those located in the Nature Park of Setúbal.

Lagoa das Sete Cidades, Azores

Azores, the common name for the group of nine volcanic islands and the highest mountain in Portugal will surely leave anyone impressed. The never ending green landscapes, beautiful lakes, and vulcanoes have granted them the title of most beautiful landscape. Perfect for nature lover travelers.

Alentejo region

Alentejo features among Lonely Planet’s top 10 places to visit in 2017. “Looming clifftop castles, rugged coastlines and a treasure chest of culinary wonders: Portugal’s Alentejo has magnetic allure.” That’s how the Lonely Planet describes the region, adding to the list the different Unesco World Heritage sites in this area, the rolling vineyards and mediaeval village centers.

31st May: World No Tobacco Day

Tobacco contributes to 16% of non-communicable diseases and tobacco-related diseases kill more than 7 million every year.

Today commemorates the World No Tobacco Day, a date that aims to raise awareness of the hazardous effects of tobacco, not only for health, but as well for the environment, and for life quality in general. As the World Health Organisation Director-General Dr Margaret Chan says: “Tobacco threatens us all. Tobacco exacerbates poverty, reduces economic productivity, contributes to poor household food choices, and pollutes indoor air.”

Tobacco is a huge burden on health. On average, smokers lose 15 years of life and almost half of tobacco users will die of tobacco – related causes. Second hand smoke, the smoke produced by cigarettes and smokers than can be inhaled by other people contributes to the death of nearly 1 million people every year.

Tobacco has also a strong impact on economy, by reducing economic productivity and placing a burden on healthcare expenditure. According to the WHO, every year over US$ 1.4 trillion are spent by households and governments worldwide because of tobacco.

Quitting smoking can be a challenge, but it certainly will improve the lives of smokers and their families and friends. If you are living in Portugal and you want to stop smoking, contact us. Medical Port has partnered with a clinic that offers a comprehensive program to quit smoking, involving a multidisciplinary approach covering from psychological support to nutrition and medical follow up.

Source: World Health Organisation (WHO)

Medical Port at the Medical Travel Summit 2017

Medical Port CEO Belén de Vicente was a guest speaker at the Medical Travel Summit in Croatia, an event organized by the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ).

The Medical Travel Summit in an event for senior-level professionals working in the medical travel sector and international patients market. Through different panels, guests were invited to share their knowledge and best practices for the future, while addressing the main concerns of this industry.

Belen de Vicente at IMTJ
Photo credit: IMTJ

Belén de Vicente, from Medical Port, presented her experience at the workshop about facilitators. The workshop was moderated by Elizabeth Ziemba, an expert in the industry. Belén de Vicente talked about the added value that medical travel facilitators bring to the parties involved (insurances, clients and healthcare units) as well as upcoming challenges. The knowledge and expertise gathered by Medical Port along its 5 years of operation were also presented.

According to Belén de Vicente “The presentation generated genuine interest among the attendance because in a market that is clearly a niche – against all the forecasts from the international consultancy companies and the American Medical Tourism Association – the experience of the few ones that have been able to sustain and grow their business is extremely relevant”.

The event took place in Croatia from 25 to 27 April and welcomed hundreds of people.

World Immunization Week 2017 – Vaccines are successful

During the “World Immunization Week” the World Health Organization (WHO) raises awareness to the use of vaccines as an effective tool protect against diseases.

Vaccines are seen as one of the most successful and cost-effective ways to prevent diseases and save lives. Every year, between 2 and 3 million deaths are avoided because of vaccination and another 1.5 million could be avoided, according to estimations by the WHO.

 

MD Margaret Chan, WHO’s Director-General, says “nearly 1 in 5 children – worldwide are still missing routine immunizations for preventable diseases, such as diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus.” Increasing access to vaccines is part of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations.

The WHO explains that besides providing defenses against for multiple diseases, immunization is “a point of contact for health care at the beginning of life and offers every child the chance at a healthy life from the start.” To learn more about pediatric care, you can visit our website or contact us.

One of the greatest successes of vaccines is the fight against polio, since there has been a decrease of 99% of cases since 1988. In 2016, only 27 cases were reported worldwide. Nowadays, only 3 countries (Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan) remain polio-endemic. Another important achievement is the progress made in reducing measles cases, from 2.6 million, in 1980, to 134 000, in 2015.

Read more about vaccines and immunization week in our previous blog post.