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!

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.

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.

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

World Immunization Week 2017 – Vaccines Work

Every year, the last week of April aims to raise awareness for immunization. This year topic is “Vaccines Work”.

Vaccines work by acting as “fake” pathogens that carry diseases, prompting a response from the immune system. This way, the body will be ready to act faster if faced with the real disease pathogen in the future. By helping to prevent diseases in the first place, vaccines also limit the antibiotic resistance.

During this action week, the World Health Organization (WHO) aims to raise awareness for the importance of the use of vaccines and clarify some myths regarding them. The five key messages raised by the WHO are:

  1. Vaccines are safe and effective, because they undergo rigorous tests before being given to the population
  2. Vaccines prevent deadly diseases, like measles and mumps. Those who are not vaccinated are more vulnerable to such things
  3. Vaccines provide better immunity than natural infections, because there is less risk involved
  4. Combined vaccines are safe and beneficial and there is no risk associated with receiving multiple vaccines at the same time
  5. If we stop vaccination diseases will return. When less people get vaccinated, even previously eradicated diseases can return (as the recent outbreak of measles in some European countries).

Make sure you and your family are protected against diseases! If you are living in Portugal and away from your country healthcare system, we will help you finding the adequate healthcare you need. Contact us!

 

Sources: WHO, Historyofvaccines.org

March 24th: World Tuberculosis Day

World Tuberculosis day aims to raise awareness to the epidemic of tuberculosis, a disease that in 2015 affected more than 10 millions people worldwide. The theme for this year is “Unite to End TB”.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection that affects mostly the lungs, though it is possible to affect other parts of the body. While it is considered a serious condition, it can be treated with antibiotics. This date commemorates the day, back in 1882, when Dr. Robert Koch announced the discovery of the virus that causes tuberculosis.

According to the WHO, tuberculosis is often overlooked because is hard to be diagnosed. Symptoms can include cough that lasts longer than 3 weeks (with phlegm that can have blood), weight loss, night sweats, fever, fatigue and loss of appetite.

TB occurs in every part of the world but the majority of cases are concentrated in Asia (61%) and Africa (26%). In countries with a few registered cases, TB affects mostly vulnerable individuals in social risk, like people with alcohol and drug problems or homeless people. TB affects particularly people who are infected with the HIV virus, as both infections speed up each other’s progression.

As in most health conditions, an early and proper diagnosis is the key to a better, faster recovery. Delaying treatment can lead to long-term health issues.

Source: WHO, CDC, StopTB, NHS

 

Porto: Best European Destination 2017

Nominated three times and three times winner, setting a new record. The city of Porto is once again the Best European Destination.

The city of Porto.
The city of Porto.

Never has the choice of the winning city been so unanimous among travellers from all other the world”, that’s how the annoucement of the winner starts. With votes coming from over 170 countries, Porto was the first among 19 destinations that included remarkable european capitals like Paris, Rome or London in the competition pomoted by the European Consumers Choice, an organization of consumers and specialists.

Thinking of coming to Porto in the future? Here are some of the highlights:

Torre dos Clérigos: The icon of the city of Porto. After climbing nearly 250 stairs, you will be rewarded a unique 360º view of the city.

Serralves: Fundação Serralves hosts an impressive modern art museum, surrounded by 18-hectare gardens where you can also find see some artwork by contemporary artist along with the plants and trees.

Casa da Música: “Casa da Música” means “House of Music.” An internationally praised building with modern, futuristic architecture, home to music and other events that will surely impress you.

Douro river & wine warehouses: Visit the port wine warehauses at the other side of the Douro river, in the city of Gaia, and take the oportunity to gaze at the colouful houses fitting in each other, with the beautiful D. Luís bridge also within your view. All this while enjoying a glass of Port.

Francesinha: Not the healthiest option but it can’t hurt once in a lifetime. A sandwich with multiple layers of meat, covered in cheeses and soaked in a beer sauce, ranked among the best sandwiches in the world.  And if you want to know more about Porto gastronomy, stay tuned! Anthony Bourdain is currently in the city shooting an episode of his CNN travel and food show “Parts Unknown”, which means we will be seing more of this side of Porto in the future.

Are you visiting o living in Porto and want to also take some time for your health? Medical Port’s network of partners extends to this city as well, offering multiple speciality consultations, a large variety of check-ups options and fertility specialists. Visit our website or contact us for more information

 

Parents: help your kids reach full potential at school – part 2

Following the previous article we give you a few more tips to guarantee your children will have a prosperous school year. This time we talk about sports, grandparents and dyslexia. 

Sports

Designed by Freepik
Designed by Freepik

Sports are always a good choice as an extra curricular activity. According to a study from the University of Illinois, USA, the

better physical preparation, the better the intellectual development. Additionally, exercising has other benefits like fighting obesity, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, increasing memory and attention, strengthening the muscle, bones and articulations, increasing self-esteem, diminishing anxiety, improve sociability, tolerance and discipline, helping with sleep and promoting good eating habits.

Family relationships: grandparents

Did you know that according to a study from the Institute of Aging from Boston, USA, a close relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is associated with a lesser risk of depression for both?  Psychological health becomes better as there is a stronger mutual emotional support.

Another study suggests that children with a close relationship with their grandparents have less emotional and behavioral problems. Grandparents are also a source of learning for children. They pass on pass on historical, cultural and scientific knowledge and help in the language development

Dyslexia

It is estimated that 1 in 10 people in the world have dyslexia, a genetic language disturb that interferes with the way the brain processes the written language. It causes problems in reading, as the child will have troubles recognizing words previously read or known. Dyslexia is not a sign of lack of intellectual capacity or laziness. A child may simply need more time to process all the information. It can be overcome with specialized therapy and other resources like adequate learning materials.

If you think your child may be dealing with dyslexia, contact us and we will help you booking an appointment with an appropriate specialist.

Check the previous article to learn more on eating, sleeping and studying.  Read more on pediatrics.

Sources (in Portuguese):   Dyslexia      Grandparents       Sports

Parents: help your kids reach full potential at school

Sleep, eating habits and motivation are essential for a productive school year. Start implementing good practices from the beginning. We give you some advice coming from our partner, Hospital Lusíadas.

back2school
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Sleep

A good night of sleep is essential. A disturbed sleep can result in difficulties in keeping focus, memory loss and tiredness. The ability to store information during a class will be reduced. Additionally, Teresa Moreno, neuropediatrician from Hospital Lusíadas Lisboa, explains that besides resting, sleep plays an important role in strengthening the immune system, in the hormones responsible for the growing, and even in the memory, to mention a few. Lack of sleep is harmful at every age, but even worse during childhood.

Electronic Devices

Studies indicate that devices like tablets, smartphones and such can be more harmful than tv. Children who have access to tablets or smartphones in the bedroom tend to sleep less 21 minutes every night than those who don’t.

Eating

Eating habits of children require a constant care. Meals should be organized according to preferences, school schedule and extra activities like sports. Planning meals ahead will help you make healthier choices.

Meals should include ingredients from the different food groups, with an emphasis on vegetables. Breaks between meals should be no longer than 3 hours. Snacks are important to keep the energy levels and help in the concentration, by giving a feeling of satiation. And don’t forget to include plenty of water in your kids lunchbox!

Studying and motivation

The studying area should be luminous, well ventilated, clean and without distractions or noises. A weekly studying plan is recommended. Parents should demonstrate interest in their kids’ studies and be part of it. They can ask the children to explain what they learned in a creative way, and what was the most interesting topic. Compliments and encouraging words should be used but must be sincere and related to the activity they are doing.

If your children are having trouble with motivation and focusing, contact us to arrange a consultation with within a prestigious psychology clinic

Sources (in Portuguese): Eating    Sleeping    Motivation