On the occasion of the World Health Day that will be celebrated tomorrow, Statistics Portugal publishes some fundamental health indicators and makes available the publication "Estatísticas da Saúde 2019" (Health Statistics 2019). In the current context, this retrospective information gains particular relevance as it allows framing the information that is made available daily about the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Despite the reduction in the existence of limitations in carrying out usual activities because of a health problem in the last 5 years, from 36.1% in 2015 to 32.1% in 2020, Portugal remains one of the countries in which this problem affects a higher proportion of residents (33.0% in 2019, 24.0% for the European Union, EU-27).
• The healthy life expectancy at age 65 for the residents in Portugal was 7.3 years, 3.0 years less than the European average of 10.3 years.
• In 2019, there were 5.4 doctors and 7.4 nurses per 1,000 inhabitants in Portugal, 2.3 doctors and 4.2 more nurses per 1,000 inhabitants than two decades before. The number of doctors in Portugal increased 3.6% per year between 2014 and 2018, higher than in the average increase of 1.4% per year in the EU-27.
• In 2019, there were 36.0 thousand beds available for immediate hospitalisation of patients. Compared to the situation twenty years earlier, the total number of beds for inpatient care has decreased 5.7% and the relative weight of the public sector in the supply of this equipment has decreased (from 77.7% in 1999 to 67.9% in 2019). The average length of stay was 9.1 days, longer in Intensive Care Units as it is characteristic of this type of stay: 18.4 days in pediatric intensive care, 17.2 days in neonatal intensive care and 11.8 days of hospitalization in adult intensive care.
• Public or public-private partnership hospitals continued to be the main providers of health services in 2019, representing more than 80% of emergency care attendances, 75.9% of hospitalisations, 70.2% of surgeries and 62.7% of medical appointments. However, it was in private hospitals that this production increased the most from 1999 to 2019, with an increase in the relative weight of private sector in terms of medical appointments (from 15.6% to 37.3%), surgeries (from 22.4% to 29.8%), hospitalisations (from 15.3% to 24.1%) and emergency care attendances (from 4.2% to 17.3%).
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