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European Journal

Portugal/Spain: Seeking Help from the Neighbors

Portugal's economic crisis is affecting its health care system. More and more of its citizens are heading for Spain to go to the doctor or to the hospital.

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To fulfill its austerity obligations, the government in Lisbon began cutting its health care budget - reducing the number of clinics as well as prescriptions for expensive medicines. In some communities, there is no longer around-the-clock care. Many people are now taking advantage of the free emergency treatment available in Spain. The Spanish government ultimately charges Portugal for these services.