Medical risk map for 2016 puts Portugal with low risk

International SOS releases every year a worldwide medical rating that rates countries by their health care risk.

Considering there is risk everywhere, due to many factors, many countries have a good standard of medical care and that means they pose a low risk for who goes under medical care there.

The medical rating is based on the standard of local medical and dental care available, the access to prescription drugs, the presence of serious infectious diseases and cultural, language or administrative barriers to access health care.

The rating divides countries by very high, high, medium, low medical risk and rapidly developing.

Most countries in Europe and North America have a low medical risk, including Portugal.

The low medical risk medical is defined by: “International standard of care throughout the country. Most specialist care widely available. High quality emergency and dental services and a wide range of prescription drugs available. Low risk of infectious diseases.”

Countries like Turkey, Poland, Hungary, and Mexico are considered medium risk countries for medical care. These countries are known for their low prices for health care and are popular among those who chose to go abroad for medical care. Although there are great health care facilities in these countries, a quality standard isn’t always met and in some cases the medical care goes wrong and patients get serious injuries.

In Portugal the access to medical care is widely available in both public and private facilities and Portuguese medical professionals are recognized internationally for their work.

Medical Port has partnered with the most outstanding health care facilities and doctors to give our clients the access to the best options and provide effective treatments.

Learn more about the Travel Risk Map here.

Learn more about Medical Port here.

 

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Portuguese hotels distinguished by the luxury publication Condé Nast

Every year Condé Nast reveals the hotels and luxury spas with their seal of approval, which guarantees an exceptional experience, according to them.

Hotels around the world receive this distinction every year and that makes them part of an exclusive group of hotels, spas and resorts with the finest qualities that every luxury traveller seeks.

Condé Nast describes these annual recommendations as: “Whether you’re searching for a luxury hotel, spa, country house, boutique retreat, celebratory venue or somewhere by the beach, we provide inspiration and assistance in finding the perfect place for every occasion.

In Portugal 14 hotels were distinguished with this seal in 2016. From the south to the north of continental Portugal and in the Azores Island, the publication highlights the best hotels and resorts that will please the most exquisite travellers.

According to the publication: “Portugal boasts a beautiful coastline fringed with sunny beaches and rolling sand dunes as well as an exciting hilly interior, ideal for exploring by bike, foot or kayak. (…) Portugal also offers some fascinating historic cities, its capital Lisbon with its medieval buildings and grand views, and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Porto, home to port wine. The most talked about area of Portugal is the Algarve with its idyllic coves, rocky outcrops and glittering waters.

Click here to see the full hotel list and the description of each luxury hotel in Portugal selected by Condé Nast.

Portugal in the top 10 best countries to retire abroad

Once again, Portugal is in the news as one of the best places to retire abroad.

During the first days of 2016 were revealed two important rankings regarding the best places to retire abroad: one from Live and Invest Overseas and another from International Living. Both rankings highlight Portugal as great place to retire abroad, as they did for the past few years.

Live and Invest Overseas, considered the Portuguese region of the Algarve as the number one region in the world to retire abroad.

This distinction is awarded to the Algarve for the 3rd year in a row. The Algarve, in the south of Portugal is known for its white sand beaches, low cost of living and large expat English-speaking communities. The Algarve is considered a paradise in Europe where the sun shines all year round with mild temperatures.

International Living put Portugal in the 10th place this year. The country drops one place from last year, but still makes the top 10. Once again categories where Portugal received high scores were Infrastructures, Healthy Lifestyle (this category was added this year), Climate and Cost of Living.

Over the last few years Portugal became a popular destination for foreign retirees. Helped by tax benefits programs – the Non-Habitual Regime for European citizens and the Golden Visa for other nationalities – moving to Portugal was never so attractive to foreign citizens from around the world.

For those considering retiring in Portugal and concerned about their health, Medical Port developed the For Health Card. This card offers discounts in consultations and medical procedures even those that aren’t normally covered by health insurance. For Health cardholders that also have health insurance can benefit from using both when recurring to health services.

 

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AFAR magazine names Portugal the most popular non-U.S. destination

According to AFAR travel magazine, Portugal was the most visited non-US location in 2015 and is the 5th must go destination for 2016.

AFAR analysed the most searched terms and cities for trip planning in 2015 by their website visitors and compiled the list of the most visited places. Portugal is number 2, only followed by the American city of New Orleans.

NY Daily News magazine published AFAR’s list and here is their opinion about Portugal: “The major draw of the country is the beautiful Algarve’s beaches featuring bright blue-green waters and interesting rock formations. The hilly capital of Lisbon is known for its café culture and bars and restaurants. Bacalhau (white cod), Pasteis de Belem (custard cups) and Caldo Verde soup are mainstays in Portuguese dining and a must-eat if visiting the country.

AFAR recently released their January/February 2016 issue which contains the “The Top 10 Destinations on Our 2016 Travel List” and Portugal is number 5, and these are the reasons why: “Portugal is heating up as a cultural hub. Foodies are flocking to the capital city of Lisbon, which is radiating with exciting new culinary experiences. In addition, the city is getting a swanky new port hub to support the building river cruise traffic. Porto has quickly emerged as a top art scene and the central coast 200-mile stretch between the two cities is becoming loved by beachcombers. Locals and newcomers alike are breathing new life into Portugal’s smaller villages. With these experiences, Portugal truly has something for everyone.

All these reasons make Portugal the most popular non-U.S. destination of 2015 and probably 2016.

Read the full articles here: NY Daily News  and AFAR.

 

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Portugal awarded for hospitality and ability to speak in English

Portugal and the Portuguese people have been known for their hospitality throughout the years.

From tourists to expats, foreigners tend to feel well received in Portugal not only because what the country has to offer but also from the friendliness of Portuguese people.

One of the reasons why Portugal is gaining so much popularity as a place to retire abroad is because English is widely understood and spoken. Expats in Portugal can have a great living experience even if they don’t speak Portuguese, as English is widely spoken in the country. Another reason is due to the fact that the country welcomes foreigners with ease and there’s a great tolerance towards other cultures. Portugal is one of the countries where English is more widely spoken in the whole world. According to the ranking by EF , Portugal is the 13th country in the world with the best English skills. In the 2015 English Proficiency Index, Portugal is placed among the countries with the better English skills, categorised as a country where people have a high proficiency of English. There were 70 countries analysed in the index. The top places belong the Northern European countries and the bottom places belong to countries in the Middle East and Asia.

Also according to the Global Peace Index by the Institute for Economics and Peace, Portugal is the 11th most peaceful country in the world. Portugal is considered to be “very high” in terms of peace. The Global Peace Index is “The world’s leading measure of national peacefulness, the GPI measures peace according to 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators”, according to the Institute. The ranking evaluated 162 countries in the world for several indicators like perceptions of criminality, intensity of internal conflict, neighboring countries relations, among others. Portugal got minimum scores in almost of all of these indicators, meaning the country has low representativeness in those indicators.

 

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Portugal’s residence program for foreigners is the best in the world

According to a report from Henley & Partners, the global leaders in residence and citizenship planning, Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program is the world’s best residence-by-investment program in 2015.

This program allows foreign citizens to invest in Portugal and obtain a residence visa.

Among the 19 residency programs for foreigners analyzed by Henley & Partners, the Portuguese one is the one that offers more advantages to foreign investors. Portugal is followed by Austria (2nd place) and Belgium (3rd place).

The programs were ranked according to 10 indicators: Reputation, Quality of Life, Tax, Visa Free Access, Processing Time and Quality of Processing, Compliance, Investment Requirements, Total Costs, Time to Citizenship and Citizenship Requirements. Portugal ranked highest on “Total Cost” meaning the initial investment required is lower when compared to other programs. Portugal shared the top spot with other countries in the following indicators: “Tax”, “Visa Free Access”, and “Processing Time and Quality of Processing”. Meaning that foreigner investors have light tax burdens and the processing procedures are quick and efficient.

Some of the reasons to move to Portugal, according to Living in Portugal:

  1. Great climate with an average of 3300 hours of sunshine per year, one of the highest rates in Europe
  2. The satisfaction of 80% of the tourists who visit the country and want to come back
  3. The average housing prices in Portugal are very competitive compared to the main European cities
  4. Taxation is light on foreigner investors as Henley & Partners already highlighted in the report
  5. Portugal is ranked as the 17th safest country in the world among a list of 153 countries

Medical Port serves foreign residents’ healthcare needs through the For Health Card, a card that gives access to the top private healthcare providers in Portugal with discounts and specialized services. To learn more about the For Health Card please visit our website.

 

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American news website, Newsday, writes about a memorable trip to Porto, Portugal

Porto – Portugal’s second largest city – was recently classified as “intoxicating” by an article on Newsday, because of its amazing views and smells.

The author took a trip to Porto and realized the city is full of contrasts and offers stunning views for its visitors.

Porto is described by its two sightseeing landmarks: “The city offers two high-impact sightseeing thrills: the postcard-perfect ambience of its riverfront Ribeira district and the opportunity to learn more about (and enjoy) the port wine that ages here. Porto also has sumptuous churches, worthwhile museums, beautifully tiled buildings (even the train station), and a bustling Industrial Age market hall.

The fact that in Porto is possible to find in a short distance away a street crowded with tourists and cafés and another street filled with local overlooking the neighbourhood in their little balconies amazes the author. It is possible to see within a short walk the touristic Porto and the typical Porto with its natives.

Food and drink is another serious subject when a trip to Porto is described. The author tried seafood, the typical Francesinha sandwich, and the world-famous Port wine.

The article says that a trip to Portugal isn’t complete without a trip to Porto. Whether you are considering visiting Lisbon or the Algarve region, make sure to include Porto in your itinerary because as it is stated in the article “Whether you’re enjoying Ribeira’s riverfront promenade, cruising the Douro, or sampling port in this port city, Porto gives you a fine taste of authentic Portuguese culture.”

Read the full article here.

 

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Portugal named in the top 10 great retirement spots for golfers

U.S. News gathered the list of the best retirement spots for American golf lovers to retire abroad.

Those who like to golf usually look for a retirement spot where they can practise their skill and live a comfortable life. U.S. News writes: “Many people dream of spending their retirement years lining up the perfect putt while enjoying the grass and sunshine. Golf generally helps you get plenty of exercise and fresh air and provides opportunities to meet other golfers and make new friends.”

Those retirement ideal spots can be found abroad, where the cost of living is cheaper than the United States. According to U.S. News, Quinta do Lago, in the Algarve, Portugal is the 8th best place to retire for golf lovers:

“Portugal’s Algarve receives top marks in every category of importance to retirees, including cost-of-living, climate, infrastructure and residency options. In addition, this region is dense with golf courses, including Quinta do Lago. With three award-winning championship golf courses, – the North, South and Laranjal – excellent practice facilities and the only Paul McGinley Academy in Europe, Quinta do Lago makes this corner of Portugal a golfer’s dream retirement choice.”

Great retirement spots for golfers, U.S. News
Great retirement spots for golfers, U.S. News

After being recently named the best region in the world to retire abroad, the Algarve is getting the attention of the press all over the world as we wrote in a previous post (click here to read it). In the Algarve (as well as in the entire country of Portugal) the sunny weather attracts many expats who enjoy the Mediterranean style food, the reasonable cost of living and the overall quality of healthcare and other important services for expats living in Portugal.

The other countries in the top 10 of the best retirement spots for golfers are: Nicaragua, Italy, Vietnam, Thailand, Argentina, Mexico, France, Dominican Republic and Ireland. Click here to see the full list.

 

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TripAdvisor says the best aquarium in the World is in Portugal

Lisbon’s Aquarium (Oceanário de Lisboa) was recently voted the best in the world according to TripAdvisor users. The 2015 Travelers’ Choice Award winners by TripAdvisor were revealed recently.

The Lisbon Aquarium has 11579 reviews from which 10745 either classified it as “Excellent” or “Very good”. These reviews made Lisbon Aquarium to the first spot in the best aquariums list in the world. Last year, Lisbon Aquarium got the second place, and this year, changed places with Georgia Aquarium in the United States. The variety of marine species (animals and plants) and the education on nature and water conservation and preservation are the strong points of the Lisbon Aquarium. It is also considered the number 1 attraction to see while in Lisbon and should be visited at least half a day, according to the reviews of previous visitors.

Lisbon Aquarium, Portugal
Lisbon Aquarium, Portugal, photo courtesy Oceanario de Lisboa

Travel website “Travel Pulse” shared the news about the Lisbon Aquarium and describes it: “While the Oceanário de Lisboa opened fairly recently, in 1998, the building has built up quite a varied number of sea creature species, and the aquarium has a focus on teaching people about the animals and how to protect them.” 

ABC News, wrote “Put these on your bucket list: World’s top zoos, aquariums and more” after the winners were announced by TripAdvisor.

 

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The Algarve region, in Portugal, named the best place to retire abroad

For the second year in a row, the Algarve is considered the best place in the world to retire abroad.

Last year, the publication Live and Invest Overseas awarded the Algarve with the first place to retire abroad, and this year the publication decided that the best place to retire continues to be in Portugal. In the Algarve, it is possible to live well with $1, 410 a month.

It’s not the cheapest destination, but it’s the destination that offers a better balance between cost and quality of living.

According to Live and Invest Overseas “This region on the coast of Portugal has held the top spot for two years in a row thanks to its low cost of living, affordable real estate and pleasant weather. The area was highlighted for having mild temperature year-round, with temperatures usually staying below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.”

The author of Live and Invest Overseas, Kathleen Peddicord, recently wrote an article on the Huffington Post on how to retire in Portugal, calling it a “sunny European paradise”. One of the strong points of retiring to the Algarve, according to the author is: “Unlike many sunny paradises, however, the Algarve is not a little island in the middle of no place in the sea. It is attached to the Old Continent and reachable by car from Lisbon and points farther north. You can also fly from the U.S. East Coast in short hops, as few as six hours to Lisbon from Boston, for example, where many flights originate thanks to the Portuguese diaspora. From there, a three-hour drive takes you to the south coast resorts.”

One of the advantages the author points is the quality of healthcare in Portugal: “One more driving advantage for this region is the standard of healthcare on offer, which is both modern and innovative and personalized and humane.”

Here is the list of the 10 best places to retire around the world:

  1. Algarve, Portugal
  2. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  3. Cayo, Belize
  4. Languedoc, France
  5. Abruzzo, Italy
  6. Medellin, Colombia
  7. Hua Hin, Thailand
  8. Chiang Mai, Thailand
  9. Cuenca, Ecuador
  10. El Valle, Panama

Since the raking was published, many journalists around the world have been talking about it and highlighting what Portugal has to offer to retired people.

CBS News, the Huffington Post, Forbes, the Washington Post are some of the newspapers who wrote articles about the Algarve as the best region in the world to retire.

Common reasons to why Portugal is a great place to retire are the cost of living, natural beauty, safety, and mild temperatures all year-round.

Medical Port offers top quality medical solutions for foreigners who retire in Portugal and whish to access medical care. Our solutions include access to consultations, exams and surgeries at internationally certified private healthcare facilities throughout the country with experienced medical staff and top notch technology.

 

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