UK Department of Health and Social Care – Letter to Stakeholders.


The following letter has been forwarded by the British Embassy in Lisbon for dissemination.

“Dear Stakeholder/Partner

We are writing to you on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care. The Department is currently developing a project across several countries in the EU to request that they require continued health cover under the UK’s Reciprocal Healthcare arrangements.

The UK currently funds state healthcare costs for certain eligible groups resident in the EEA and Switzerland through the S1 scheme. Those eligible for the scheme include UK state pensioners, people receiving another qualifying exportable UK benefit, certain UK workers and their family members.

Around 480,000 UK state pensioners live in the EEA/Switzerland. There are 174,000 S1 holders whose healthcare cost the UK £536.8 million in 2021. Currently, there is no requirement for S1 holders in receipt of a UK state pension to verify that they remain eligible and still need their S1 form. This creates a risk that the UK overpays average cost countries for the S1 scheme, so we are expecting significant financial savings without any reduction in services.

Therefore, we are currently exploring a policy to introduce a process where S1 holders are required to confirm every two years that:

  • they still require an S1,
  • are still eligible,
  • and the UK is still the competent state.

We are developing the process to make it as easy as possible for customers to respond. They will have the option to email, call or to use a new online portal that is currently being developed. Furthermore, we are working on much more robust data-sharing processes with other UK Government departments as well as foreign authorities to ensure the need to communicate with the minimum number of customers necessary.

Furthermore, we are fully aware that many customers are in potentially vulnerable situations e.g. the socially isolated, those with mental health conditions and others who may be in care homes. We appreciate that they may find this new process difficult to understand or respond to, so we are working closely with our partners: the British Consular Network in Portugal; the Portuguese authorities and organisation such as yours to ensure those who are in positions of risk will experience the minimal inconvenience should they fail to respond to our communication with them. In the unlikely event there is disruption to their health cover, there is a process in place to reinstate it from the date of cancellation directly with the Portuguese authorities and without the customer having to intervene or take any action whatsoever.

How can you help?

We have identified that one of the main reasons we overpay Member States is because customers sometimes fail to update their contact details with us e.g. if they move back to the UK or move within Portugal itself. Therefore, given that your organisation has a wide reach within Portugal itself, we would be extremely grateful if you could send the following form out to your members asking them to update their contact details with us via the method most convenient for them.

Furthermore, we would also be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have, either by email or via an online face-to-face meeting. Please feel free to reply to us via this email and we will get back in touch with you as soon as possible.

Kind regards

DHSC Cross Border Healthcare Operations Team



If you are an S1 holder living in Portugal, it is important you ensure that the personal information the NHS Business Service Authority (NHSBSA) hold about you is correct and up to date. The NHSBSA is the organisation that manages your continued right to healthcare in Portugal, funded by the UK

You therefore need to confirm your contact details so NHSBSA can check you are entitled to the health cover you receive. Without this confirmation, NHSBSA will not be able to check your details and you may lose your S1 entitlement.

Please contact NHSBSA on within the next 14 days and provide your Name and DOB. Please also include your:

  • email address
  • postal address
  • contact phone number

If it is more convenient, you may also contact us via our contact centre number on +44 191 218 1999.



Children under 12 years as drug couriers


Lisbon, April 17, 2024 (Lusa) – Children under 12 years of age suspected of being part of criminal groups are often used as drug or money couriers, but there are also others who dedicate themselves to robbing young people of the same age, according to the PSP.

The final report of the commission that analyzed juvenile delinquency, released recently, states that the police identified, in the first 10 months of last year, 64 children under the age of 12 suspected of being part of criminal groups, a number that has been increasing since 2019.

According to the Commission for the Integrated Analysis of Juvenile Delinquency and Violent Crime, the GNR identified until October last year 55 children under the age of 12 suspected of being involved in criminal groups, while the number of children between 6 and 11 years old identified by PSP in the same period was nine.

Speaking to Lusa, regarding this data, Hugo Guinote, head of the Public Prevention and Proximity division of the Public Security Police, stated that these children may be involved in various types of groups: “If we are talking about a group that dedicated to drug trafficking, they often assume the role of transporting small amounts of drugs or money”.

Hugo Guinote, who was part of the commission created by the previous Government to analyze juvenile delinquency, said that there are also children under 12 years of age who commit other crimes, namely robberies and thefts, especially “to other children of more or less the same age”, which which is “greatly worrying” the police.

“Here we are no longer talking about the same type of criminal organization [such as drug trafficking]. We are talking about group crime that is not exactly a group with an organizational character. These kids end up being in a group committing some crimes, but they are not a very large group”, he explained.

The PSP officer also highlighted that some of these young people referenced by the police and who carry out acts classified as crimes have sharp weapons.

“These children are all in a dangerous situation”, he said, noting that the PSP “immediately communicates the situation” to the family and juvenile court, which can decide to remove custody from the parents and place them in social support institutions. support for children, who are mainly part of the network of the National Commission for the Promotion of the Rights and Protection of Children and Young People (CNPDPCJ).

Hugo Guinote clarified that, as these are children under 12 years of age, the courts do not send these young people to reception centers.

“A child under 12 is always considered a victim and, therefore, responses from the protection network are activated”, he stressed, clarifying that “fortunately, children under 12 years of age involved in crimes are rare situations”.

According to the PSP official, these children generally live with their families and go to school.

“Often, those who take care of these children are not the parents (…). Parents are subject to long working hours during the day, they are absent from home and these children end up, when they leave school, having no one to look after them in the household, or they are left with other relatives or left to themselves. themselves,” he said.

Contacted by Lusa, the CNPDPCJ refused to provide data on children flagged by the commissions for the protection of children and young people (CPCJ), justifying it with “reasons of reserve and confidentiality”.

“Commissions for the protection of Children and Young People work on their promotion and protection processes individually and using all community resources and conditions necessary for this purpose. The implementation of Local Plans for Children’s Rights, and coordinated intervention with entities with competence in matters of childhood and youth. The more attentive and dynamic the community is, the fewer situations of possible juvenile delinquency will arise”, indicates the commission.

The latest report available from this entity, referring to 2022, indicates that the CPCJ acted, that year, in at least 20 cases in which children under 12 years of age committed “acts qualified by criminal law as a crime”.

The commission’s report that analyzed delinquency among young people also indicates that juvenile delinquency numbers reached their highest levels in 2023 since 2015, while group crime had not been as high since 2013.

Hugo Guinote noted that the majority of young delinquents are between 12 and 16 years old, and mainly commit crimes of robbery and offenses against physical integrity and resort to weapons, mostly white.

As this person described, juvenile delinquency is mainly in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto, with some situations in Setúbal and Faro.

“They are all of school age and often go to school. They don’t stop going to school, but when they are out of school, they end up engaging in marginal activities and committing crimes. They are mainly crimes against property, but then, using violence, they end up turning into crimes against physical integrity in which they steal to get money or items that people have in their possession, such as cell phones and clothes”, he explained.

To combat this phenomenon, the PSP has been organizing several awareness-raising actions in schools, with “the results being quite positive” with a significant reduction in the number of incidents involving weapons in schools.

However, he highlighted, many of the crimes take place outside the school space, and the police are now directing their efforts towards inspection actions within the scope of night gatherings and in places where these young people can gather and where there is a greater potential for conflict.




Bathing season cannot be restricted to just summer, says the Nadadores Salvadores Federation


Lisbon, April 15, 2024 (Lusa) – The president of the Portuguese Federation of Lifeguards (FEPONS) defended today that the bathing season “cannot be restricted to summer only” and advocated an increase in water safety education.

Alexandre Tadeia reacted in this way to the various drowning situations recorded this weekend on Portuguese beaches, which led the National Maritime Authority to carry out 249 rescues in the last three days, with three people missing in a bathing context.

“The first measure that must be taken is that the bathing season cannot be restricted to just the summer, it has to be much more dynamic, just like the fire season. It has to be all year round because we use the beaches all year round”, said the person responsible in statements to Lusa.

Alexandre Tadeia realized a long time ago that, “with climate change, there would be periods of heat outside what is normal” and recalled that, in 2020, through a study, FEPONS managed to “correlate the rise in temperature with death by drowning.”

“This means that, when the temperature rises, deaths along the way increase as well. Now, when we saw the predictions of heat waves, it is obvious that we saw them with skepticism, because obviously the beaches are not monitored and this is perhaps the first measure that should be taken”, he stated.

Alexandre Tadeia stressed that he was not talking about surveillance like the one that takes place during the summer, but a different device, giving the example of what already happens on some beaches with vehicles that carry out this surveillance all year round, such as in Nazaré, Póvoa de Varzim and Fonte da Telha.

“These are good examples of what is being done at national level and this is the first major measure: to fully expand [surveillance]”, he stressed.

According to the president of FEPONS, it is also necessary to “make local authorities responsible for assistance to bathers, because at this moment they continue to push [beach] concessionaires a responsibility that has already been theirs since 2018”.

“If it is not the local authorities, it is obviously not possible to implement this system all year round, nor is it possible to have equipment that, in fact, protects the lifeguard and with which we can carry out prevention”, he highlighted, listing equipment such as motorbikes water, [surveillance] towers and quad bikes.

In addition to this equipment, which “is fundamental” for surveillance, the official also highlighted the importance of increasing “water safety education in Portuguese schools”.

“Without a doubt, even if we have the beaches monitored throughout the year, all Portuguese beaches, there has to be a question of culture, of education, which at the moment does not exist. We only have two pages of the third class manual, which cover water safety and that is very poor, considering the 12 years of schooling”, she acknowledged.

Alexandra Tadeia considered that “the Portuguese do not know the dangers of beaches and rivers” and, those who do, “do not value them”.

“So, all of this, in fact, causes us to have this moment, and whenever there is a heat peak outside of what we call the bathing season, we always have this horrible issue”, he identified.

The bathing season each year is defined in an ordinance, published in the Diário da República, which identifies the bathing waters and the definition of the respective season, considering that, at national level, it runs from May 1st to October 30th.

Between these dates, municipal councils determine when it starts and ends in their territory, some starting earlier and ending later.

According to the person responsible, in the first fortnight of April, FEPONS has already recorded 17 deaths in the aquatic environment, “17 deaths is more than one death per day on average, not only on sea beaches, but also inland”.

“It leads us here to consider, in fact, that the policies that are being followed are not the best. It has to change. A lot has already been done in the past, but we have to change”, she pointed out, recognizing the current “sad scenario”.

Alexandre Tadeia also argued that it would be better to opt for a proactive measure such as prevention and not reactive measures, as is currently the case.

“We spent many thousands of euros on body search operations. In other words, in a reactive measure, when this money could obviously be spent on prevention and would be enough to monitor these spaces. Therefore, this vision clearly needs to change for the water safety of the Portuguese”, he retorted.

Maritime authorities are today involved in several searches by water and/or land due to disappearances during the weekend in sea and river waters: on Costa Nova beach, in Ílhavo, in the district of Aveiro; on Vieira beach, in Marinha Grande, district of Leiria; on the Tagus River, in Lisbon; and on Salgueiros beach, in Vila Nova de Gaia, district of Porto.




Complete List of secretaries of State of the XXIV Constitutional Government


Hours after the first weekly meeting between the Prime Minister, Luís Montenegro, and the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the list of Secretaries of State that the Head of State accepted was made public, days after the 17 Executive Ministers – as well as the Prime Minister himself – having been sworn in.

Thus, the 41 names that will take office at 6pm, on Friday, at Palácio da Ajuda, in Lisbon, have now been made public.

You can see the profiles of the different Secretaries of State in this document .

The list of secretaries of State of the XXIV Constitutional Government, who will take office on Friday, is complete, and which has been made available on the official website of the Presidency of the Republic .

This is the complete list of secretaries of State of the XXIV Constitutional Government:

Ministry of State and Foreign Affairs

Secretary of State for European Affairs: Inês Carmelo Rosa Calado Lopes Domingos

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation: Nuno Ricardo Ribeiro de Carvalho de Azevedo Sampaio

Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities: José de Almeida Cesário

Ministry of State and Finance

Secretary of State for the Budget: José Maria Gonçalves Pereira Brandão de Brito

Secretary of State for Fiscal Affairs: Cláudia Maria dos Reis Duarte Melo de Carvalho

Secretary of State for Treasury and Finance: João Alexandre Silva Lopes

Secretary of State for Public Administration: Marisa da Luz Bento Garrido Marques Oliveira

Ministry of the Presidency

Secretary of State for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers: Paulo José Martins Raposo Lopes Marcelo

Deputy Secretary of State and Presidency: Rui Armindo da Costa Freitas

Ministry of Territorial Cohesion

Secretary of State for Regional Development: Hélder Manuel Gomes dos Reis

Secretary of State for Local Administration: Hernâni Dias

Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs

Deputy Secretary of State and Parliamentary Affairs: Carlos Eduardo Almeida de Abreu Amorim

Secretary of State for Sport: Pedro Miguel Pereira Dias

Ministry of National Defence

Deputy Secretary of State and National Defense: Álvaro Castelo Branco

Secretary of State for National Defence: Ana Isabel Xavier

Justice ministry

Deputy Secretary of State and Justice: Maria José Dias da Mota Magalhães de Barros

Secretary of State for Justice: Maria Clara Figueiredo

Ministry of Internal Affairs

Secretary of State for Internal Administration: Telmo Augusto Janes de Noronha Côrrea

Secretary of State for Civil Protection: Paulo Simões Ribeiro

Ministry of Education, Science and Innovation

Deputy Secretary of State and Education: Manuel Alexandre Mateus Homem Cristo

Secretary of State for Education: Pedro Tiago Dantas Machado da Cunha

Secretary of State for Science: Ana Maria Severino de Almeida Paiva

Ministry of Health

Secretary of State for Health: Ana Margarida Pinheiro Povo

Secretary of State for Health Management: Cristina Alexandra Rodrigues da Cruz Vaz Tomé

Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing

Secretary of State for Infrastructure: Hugo Morato Alface do Espírito Santo

Secretary of State for Mobility: Cristina Maria dos Santos Pinto Dias

Secretary of State for Housing: Patrícia Gonçalves Costa de Machado Santos

Ministry of Economy

Secretary of State for Tourism: Pedro Manuel Monteiro Machado

Secretary of State for Economy: João Rui da Silva Gomes Ferreira

Secretary of State for the Sea: Lídia Bulcão

Ministry of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security

Secretary of State for Labor: Adriano Rafael Sousa Moreira

Deputy Secretary of State and Social Security: Jorge Manuel de Almeida Campino

Secretary of State for Social Action and Inclusion: Clara Marques Mendes

Ministry of Environment and Energy

Secretary of State for the Environment: Emídio Ferreira dos Santos Sousa

Secretary of State for Energy: Maria João Pereira

Ministry of Youth and Modernization

Secretary of State for Equality: Carla da Cruz Mouro

Secretary of State for Modernization and Digitalization: Alberto Manuel Rodrigues da Silva

Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries

Secretary of State for Agriculture: João Manuel Moura Rodrigues

Secretary of State for Fisheries: Cláudia Sofia Gomes Monteiro de Aguiar

Secretary of State for Forests: Rui Miguel Ladeira Pereira

Ministry of Culture

Secretary of State for Culture: Maria de Lurdes dos Anjos Craveiro




Crime data – Analysis awaits publication of RASI


Lisbon, April 1, 2024 (Lusa) – The president of the Internal Security Observatory admitted today that crime data in 2023 is worrying, but argued that a deeper analysis will only be possible with the Annual Internal Security Report (RASI).

According to statistics from the Directorate-General for Justice Policy, crimes recorded by the Portuguese police increased by around 8% last year compared to 2022 and reached the highest values ​​in 10 years, totalling 371,995 incidents.

Speaking to the Lusa agency, Hugo Costeira said that a comparison must be made with the type of crime and check in which areas of the country there is a record of a higher crime rate, highlighting that there may also have been an increase in the number of complaints and not crimes.

“From a statistical point of view, it is really a worrying statistic”, he admitted, highlighting that it is necessary to reflect with more data, which allows other considerations and measures to be taken.

In Hugo Costeira’s opinion, “there may not be a real increase in crime”, but rather an increase in the number of complaints to the authorities, with a consequent decrease in the so-called black numbers.

Dark figures represent “people who are victims of crimes and who do not report them and who actually start reporting them”, which could help explain a possible real increase.

“I think we will have to wait for RASI and try to understand, here in the types of crimes, what exactly are we talking about, what are the areas where this is happening, what causes this to happen according to geography”, he highlighted.

He gave as an example the increase in drug trafficking, arguing that it will be necessary to see in which areas of the country this happened in order to make a more comprehensive reading and “understand if there is any additional factor that should be the subject of specific attention from the authorities”, particularly at the level of proximity policing.

Looking at organized crime, for example in the case of residential robberies, he pointed out that we have heard a lot about the fact that these crimes are carried out by “groups that may not even be national”.

“They come to Portugal to commit this crime and disappear and, therefore, they are not even residents. Therefore, it is not even an immigration issue, it is a highly organized crime issue,” she pointed out.

He defended, once again, the need to cross-reference this data with the elements that may appear in the RASI and that allow “from a technical point of view, to make some comparisons and draw some conclusions”.

He also gave an example with the records of driving a vehicle with an alcohol content – ​​“which really is a big crime” – to explain that it is necessary to analyse in which areas this happens most, if the people identified are younger or if the crimes happen together to nightlife venues.

“Therefore, there are several metrics here that have to be analysed, even for the answer to be an assertive answer, because we have to understand why there are so many arrests with this blood alcohol level, for example”, maintained Hugo Costeira.

He also stressed that crime must be looked at “very assertively, both by political power and by the leaders of security forces and services” so that it is possible to obtain “valid conclusions about why these increases exist”.

Statistics from the Directorate-General for Justice Policy also show that since 2013, when 376,403 occurred, there have not been as many crimes recorded in Portugal as in 2023.

The data also indicates that only in 2020, a year marked by confinements due to the covid-19 pandemic, did crime fall below 300 thousand crimes, with 298,787 occurrences.