On the occasion of the World Health Day that will be celebrated tomorrow, Statistic Portugal publishes a new edition of the publication “Estatísticas da Saúde” (Health Statistics in English), mainly with statistical indicators for 2021. This information includes data on the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following results stand out:

The percentage of the population with limitations in performing activities people usually do as a result of health problems reached the highest value (34.9%) in 2021, with a higher proportion being kept in 2022 (34.0%) vs. the pre-pandemic period. Portugal remained one of the countries of the European Union (EU-27) in which this indicator reached the highest expression (25.2% for the EU-27).

The healthy life expectancy at age 65 for the residents in Portugal was 7.7 years, 2.1 years less than the European average (9.8 years).

In 2021, there were 58,735 doctors and 80,238 nurses in Portugal, respectively 2.7% more doctors and 2.9% more nurses than in 2020.

After the strong impact of the pandemic on hospital activity experienced in 2020, there was a recovery of care acts provided by hospitals in 2021. Medical appointments and diagnostic or therapeutic complementary acts increased to values higher than those recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic, but emergency services attendances, hospitalisations, and surgeries in operating rooms did not reach the values recorded in 2019, despite their growth.

The recovery in activity carried out during 2021 covers both public and private providers. Public sector hospitals increased in all dimensions, especially surgeries in operating room (+22.4%). The activity of private hospitals had significant increases in diagnosis or therapy complementary acts (+27.2%), in hospitalisations (+27.0%) and in medical appointments (+22.7%).

Public or public-private partnership hospitals continued in 2021 to be the main providers of health services, producing 86.2% of diagnostic or therapeutic complementary acts, 84.2% of emergency care attendances, 72.3% of hospitalisations, 72.1% of surgeries in operating room and 63.2% of medical appointments.

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