One in 10 Portuguese did not buy some of the medicines prescribed by the doctor last year because of the cost, a value that increased compared to the previous year, according to a study released today.
According to the Sustainable Health Index, developed by Nova Information Management School (Nova IMS), 89% of Portuguese people took some medicine prescribed by a doctor in 2022, but the cost of medicines meant that 10% chose not to buy any of prescribed drugs.
Overall, users continue to consider the price of the National Health Service (SNS) adequate, but they also have a perception of the value of user fees that is higher than the real value, not knowing that, in some cases, these are no longer paid.
As an example, the study presents the real value and that perceived by users of user fees in various services.
Consultations with a general practitioner or family doctor at the health center are no longer paid, but users continue to think that they cost close to 3Euro, the same happening with external / specialty consultations in public hospitals, which are estimated to cost 7Euro .
It is in the state of health and quality of life that the effectiveness of the SNS has greater expression, from the perspective of the user, who considers the effectiveness of medicines (76) to be superior to that of the health care received (73,3).
The study, which is presented today in Lisbon, indicates that the majority of Portuguese people make a positive assessment of their health status, with 74% considering it to be “good” or “very good”. However, this figure is lower than in 2021 (77%).
On a scale of 1 to 100, the Portuguese rate their health status with 75 points (75.7 in 2021). Without the effect of the SNS, the health status index would be 64.7 (63.2 in 2021).
More than half (52%) consider that their health condition negatively affects their quality of life, half say that it makes it difficult to carry out daily tasks (personal and/or professional) and 43% that it makes mobility difficult.
The work, developed in collaboration with AbbVie, Diário de Notícias and TSF, evaluates not only the evolution of the SNS sustainability, but also the SNS from the user’s point of view.
It identifies strengths and weaknesses, as well as possible priority areas for action, in addition to seeking to understand economic and non-economic contributions.