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

 

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Looking for sunny and safe holidays, tourists turn to Portugal

As some common holidays destinations like France and Turkey deal with the threat of terrorism, the number of tourists in Portugal increases. While this country remains a good choice regarding safety, the government has also worked on improving security measures.

Vista da ponto 25 de abril a partir de um terraço com uma mesa decorada com flores e com um copo de vinho.

Bloomberg points out that Portugal, along with its neighboring country Spain, is already registering a growth in the number of tourists who are seeking sunny destinations. It comes in the aftermath of multiple terrorist attacks in France and the failed coup d’etat in Turkey, a nation now facing internal conflicts in addition to the already existing terrorism threat.

Tourism represents about 10% of Portugal GDP. In 2015, hotels registered over 16 million guests and 70% of those were foreign. The number of British and German visitors increased the most. Algarve, Lisbon and Madeira were the most sought-after regions.

Investment in the future

Bloomberg quotes the Portuguese minister of Economy, Miguel Macedo Cabral, who says that the country is working to promote different segments to attract more tourists, not only during summer, but year-round. The government is also looking to expand tourism to other places in the country.

Portugal ranks 5th in the 2016 Global Peace Index by the Institute for Economics and Peace, climbing 6 positions compared to the previous year. Yet, in the light of the terrorism events in Europe, the government has also invested in improving measures in airports and common tourist destinations.

However, this is not the only index where Portugal gets an honorable place. It is the 12th out of 207 countries in the KOF Index of Globalization for 2016. The Portuguese health care system ranked 12th in the world by the World Health Organization. In fact, Portugal has some of the highest rates when it comes to available hospital beds and number of physicians. You can learn more about Portugal and the Portuguese health care by visiting our site.

 

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World Hepatitis Day: knowing the viruses

Yesterday the world observed the “World Hepatitis Day” that was created to raise awareness about this condition. There are five different types of hepatitis: A, B, C, D and E. Viruses B and C are the deadliest ones. Nowadays, Portugal is one of the most successful countries in the world dealing with Hepatitis C.

An image of a doctor writing on a notepad. and a piece of text saying "world hepatitis day 2016"

Hepatitis viruses have different incubation periods and can be symptomless for many years. In fact, less than 5% of infected individuals with hepatitis B and C know that they are infected – even nowadays, when it’s possible to detect Hepatitis with a simple blood test. Among those who are aware that they have hepatitis, the vast majority does not get any type of treatment. In a recent press release by the World Health Organization (WHO), Director General Dr. Margaret Chan says: “The world has ignored hepatitis at its peril. It is time to mobilize a global response to hepatitis on the scale similar to that generated to fight other communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.”

The five virus’ types are very distinct and spread in different ways. Transmission of types A and E are linked to eating contaminated food and drinking contaminated water, and is most common in regions that lack access to safe water, as well as in poor sanitation conditions. Hepatitis B and C commonly spread when blood-to-blood contact occurs, through unsafe injections, syringe sharing and medical procedures, during childbirth (from mother to child), and through sexual contact. Hepatitis D is also transmitted via infected blood, however, it only occurs if the person is already infected with the hepatitis B virus.

Currently, Portugal has an unique approach against hepatitis C, offering universal treatment covering people in all stages of the disease, unlike other countries that only treat more advanced cases. Another example of Portugal’s leading expertise on the field is the participation of Dr. Ana Cláudia Miranda, a specialist in infectious diseases, who represents Portugal at “Committed to Cure”, an European initiative to help cure Hepatitis C – in which only countries with solid and renown expertise in Hepatitis C are invited to be part of. 

Like most diseases, it is helpful to keep in mind that prevention and an early diagnosis are the key to stay healthy. If you are planning on coming to Portugal this summer, take the opportunity and look after your health. We will gladly arrange the right check-up for you, based on your needs, preferences and availability.

Source: World Health Organization, World Hepatitis Day, World Hepatitis Alliance, SOS Hepatites, Committed to Cure

 

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US News explains why Lisbon is a perfect place for retirement

Affordable and safe, a cosmopolitan city with good weather and nice beaches. As the dollar gets stronger, you should really consider Lisbon as a retirement destination, says US News.

A couple stands while looking at the city of Lisbon

We have mentioned in the past how cool Lisbon is and innumerous reasons to move there. While places like Algarve have already made the headlines as a top destination for retirement abroad, Portugal’s capital should not be forgotten. Here are the top reasons to retire in Lisbon, as US News points out:

Touristic attractions: as one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, this city offers multiple outstanding places to visit, such as Jerónimos Monastery, Tower of Belém and Praça do Comércio.

A charming city: as US News puts it, “Lisbon offers the same Old World cosmopolitan flavor” as other better known European capitals, but with good weather, and pleasant, clean beaches.

Affordability: Lisbon is one of the most affordable capital cities in Western Europe. The quality of life you get compared to the cost of living is unmatchable.

Healthcare: Lisbon ranks high also when it comes to healthcare quality, and counts with some of the best health specialists in Europe. Plus, medical care is considerably more affordable in Lisbon than in the USA. Language is not a barrier: most doctors and medical staff speak English. If you are considering visiting or moving to Portugal and want to better understand how to access healthcare services, we can help.

Safety: Portugal stands as one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world. Even in its capital, crime rate are low.

Language: There is an established English speaking community in Lisbon, and English is the second most spoken language throughout Portugal.

Cultural and recreational activities are also mentioned by US News, and moving to Portugal is now easier thanks to the Non Habitual Regime and Golden Visa status. You can read the full article – that concludes by describing Portugal as a “welcoming haven”.

There are many other unique characteristics that render Lisbon a great choice for foreign retirees. Keep visiting our blog to learn more.

 

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Portuguese doctor is the most influential pathologist in the world

Pathologist Manuel Sobrinho Simões

“The Pathologist” magazine asked pathologists all over the world who were the most influential and powerful pathologist professionals. In a list containing 100 medical professionals, Manuel Sobrinho Simões was considered number one.

Pathologist Manuel Sobrinho Simões
Pathologist Manuel Sobrinho Simões

Manuel Sobrinho Simões has been a pathologist for over 40 years and he is the founder and director of IPATIMUP, the leading Portuguese institute of research and diagnosis known for pathologist training and general public education on scientific subjects. His work on the diagnosis of thyroid cancer is highly regarded among his peers internationally. He has won several prizes and awards both nationally and internationally throughout his career, among them is the Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for outstanding service in the interests of Norway. Simões is the author of several publications like peer-reviewed journal articles, chapters and books. He held leadership positions in professional organizations like the European Society of Pathology and the European School of Pathology.

The magazine enquiry was: “Who are the most influential laboratory medicine professionals?” and the answer Manuel Sobrinho Simões was the most common. Nominators said for example that Simões “(…) has contributed more than anybody else to the visibility of pathology in Europe.” and “His contributions to the clinical diagnosis of thyroid cancer have been outstanding: hospital pathologists worldwide follow his rules in their day-to-day routines.”

The pathologist said to a Portuguese newspaper that he was surprised but very happy with the distinction. He believes that his nomination is the result of the training programs he held for international young pathologists from all over the world in the past few decades.

Read more about the “100 pathologist power list of 2015here.

 

 

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