Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Reports and communications > Sicilia 2007



Before going straight to the issue we are going to discuss, let’s discourse briefly on Health Discrimination against the elderly in Portugal.


There are, in fact, some cases of total isolation of citizens who are, due to their age and lack of economic resources, sadly forgotten by the Administration or by society at large or even by their relatives. This situation leads elder people to hidde in psycological guettos and many of them are forced to live in the streets and endure the strength of nature.


These poor abandoned by fortune are considered “humans beings” only on vacation periods (Easter, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, etc.). They are normally offered with food and clothes in order to try and ease their condition of “homeless”. A small part of the aid comes from the State, but most of it comes from the Social Solidarity Institutions.

We all know that the problem of discriminartion is not a local fact. There are many areas around the world where this phenomenon unfortunately derives in rather critical situations.

We want to highlight that, when researching about this issue, we had to face some difficulties and even some “closed doors”, but with our perseverance we are obtaining some helpful information.


Next we want to introduce a basic synthesis of the main issue of these presentation:




We all have the right to health care in hospitals, clinics and medical centres. Nevertheless, several times we have to suffer of certain delays but we have to bear in mind that, in severe cases elderly patients come first.

When it comes to the purchase and joint payment of prescribed medicines, everything depends on the group that the person belongs to and in none of them discrimination can be found if compared with active workers.

In Portugal there are four areas of health and medicine assistance:

1.      Civil servants

2.      Private workers

3.      Subsystems

4.      National Health Service


1) The health care institution for civil servants is called ADSE (Civil servants health care). This institution does not have its own doctors, but does have agreements with almost every public and private hospital in the country. ADSE has also agreements with the National Association of Pharmacists, an entity that gathers all the chemists in Portugal. The joint payment is organised in a price list depending on their purpose.


2) Private workers receive health assistance from the Social Security System with the same conditions as civil servants but with different fees.


3) There are several health Subsystems in different State bodies. Nevertheless, their integration in ADSE is envisaged in current Government legislation.

Next, let’s describe the SAMS (Service of Medical and Social Assistance). It is still an important reference in support of banking employees and it offers them a fair joint payment system at their own hospitals.



In none of the systems above mentioned can we observe any kind of discriminaton against the elderly. They hold the same rights as active workers.


4) Any citizen not having belonged by any reason to any of the systems above mentioned will have to face lots of difficulties in benefiting from them. When this happens, the National Health Service coordinates and contributes in solving this kind of problems.  


To put an end to our presentation, let’s make clear that there is a discrimination in the sanitary care in what has to do with the different fees applied when receiving medical attention.

The situation is identical for both elder and younger people.


A. Sirgado Serra.