International Patient Services

International Patient Services


A dedicated service offering the most comprehensive support that exists for international clients in healthcare in Portugal.

Whether you live in Portugal, are vacationing here and fall ill, or will travel here specifically to receive health services, we'll guide you every step of the way in order to allow you and your family to focus on your health.


  • International Clients

    Hospital da Luz Arrábida is the reference for clinical excellence and innovation in the north of Portugal. With a focus on integrated care delivery and a patient-centered approach, the Hospital da Luz Arrábida achieves rapid and accurate solutions to the most complex diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Our international clients, including residents, visitors, and individuals travelling to Portugal specifically for health services, receive care with greater ease and comfort in a hospital that has integrated international patient support into their service in order to allow you and your family to focus on your health.

    We aim to provide an environment where non Portuguese speaking clients feel welcome, secure, and heard. You should feel comfortable navigating the hospital, understand the process of care, the physician recommendations, and have an opportunity to ask your questions. To support this, we developed the most comprehensive communication support program available to international clients in healthcare in Portugal. The program helps international clients throughout their journey, from finding a doctor to discharge and follow up.

    International Patient Services, in coordination with the corporate office of Luz Saúde, supports the Hospital da Luz Arrábida by:

    • managing the communication support program,
    • maintaining agreements with the largest international insurance and assistance companies,
    • supporting relationships with international groups in Portugal (social clubs, schools, and embassies),
    • and coordinating services for patients who will travel to Portugal specifically to receive care.



    For appointments or questions, call the general line of the hospital (+351 223 776 800) and press 4 to speak to someone in English.

    Our contact center can help identify a physician who speaks your language, as well as provide guidance for accessing hospital services. You may also request appointments or exams online or email us at

    If you intend to travel to Gaia to receive medical services or would like more information about International Patient Services, please email:


  • Communication Suport Program

    Effective communication is essential in the care and management of patients.

    Effective communication can be challenging even when the conversation involves two native speakers of the same language. Add language and cultural differences to the equation, and the challenge becomes that much greater.

    Possible adverse consequences of communication challenges arising from language and cultural differences between patient and provider are well documented and include increased stress, lower satisfaction, lower compliance, avoidance of medical care, no routine or preventative care, inability to provide consent, overuse of diagnostic services, errors in diagnosis, incorrectly following the physician’s recommendations, and forgoing follow-up care. Hence, access to care, patient safety, appropriate utilization of health resources, and customer satisfaction are all affected.

    The Hospital da Luz Arrábida has already implemented many resources and tools that will support communication throughout the patient’s journey. In addition, we provide training and awareness to hospital staff, consider their feedback, and listen to our clients. This means that our communication support program will continue to grow and evolve over time.

  • International Insurance

    The Hospital da Luz Arrábida has agreements with international insurers.

    We hold agreements with many international insurers, embassies, and other organizations who manage health benefits for their members. Our contact center can tell you if we have an agreement with your insurance. If we do not have an agreement with your international insurer, tell us, and we will provide guidance regarding how you may still be able to use your insurance at Hospital da Luz Arrábida.

    International insurers contract with health care providers in each country where they have members in order to facilitate access to hospitals and clinics that provide quality care. When the insurer develops an agreement with the hospital or clinic, usually a direct billing arrangement is established for inpatient and sometimes ambulatory care services. This agreement may substantially reduce the out-of-pocket requirement for the client at the time of service as well as the necessity to complete additional paperwork in order to request reimbursement to the insurer.

    To access services at the Hospital da Luz Arrábida, clients with international insurance should always request a Guarantee of Payment (GOP) letter (also known as Terms of Responsibility or Pre-authorization) from their insurer (or embassy / other payer). The Guarantee of Payment letter will indicate the health services you are eligible to receive according to your specific health plan, the percentage or amount you are required to pay before admission (including any co-payments or deductables, if applicable), and the amount that may be billed directly to the insurer.
    Bring the Guarantee of Payment letter, your insurance membership card (if applicable), and picture identification card to the hospital on the day of the appointment or inpatient admission. If the insurer’s guarantee letter is not available prior to admission, you may be asked to provide a deposit, based on the anticipated charges of the services to be provided. The deposit will be returned to you upon confirmation of coverage from the insurer. 

    Please contact International Patient Services for more information about international insurance: