IN PORTUGAL, the National Health Service (Serviço Nacional de Saúde) provides comprehensive health care for all, either for free or at a very moderate cost at the point of service, and financed by general taxation.
The population of Portugal is approximately 10.7 million. There are 33,439 active physicians in Portugal, 22,135 of whom are specialists, including 717 ophthalmologists.
Entrance to the 5 medical schools is highly competitive. Medical school training takes 6 years, including the basic sciences and clinical training, and followed by a 2-year period of general medical practice training before licensure is granted. This training period is now in the process of being shortened, making it more compatible with general European Union standards. Therefore, universities are now offering, starting in the year 2000, a 5-year program of medical school followed by 1 year of closely supervised intensive medical practice.
Cunha-Vaz JG. Ophthalmology in Portugal. Arch Ophthalmol. 2000;118(10):1435-1436. doi:10.1001/archopht.118.10.1435