Portugal has one of the most unequal income distributions in Europe and poverty levels are high. The economic crisis has halted a long-term gradual decline in both inequality and poverty and the number of poor households is rising, with children and youths being particularly affected. Unemployment is one of the principal reasons why household incomes declined.
In the years before the economic crisis, Portugal had low growth, a decline in export competitiveness and rising imbalances that included a large current account deficit and a strong expansion of the non-tradable sector. Strengthening export performance is therefore one of the principal challenges for Portugal.
Specific country notes have been prepared using data from the database OECD Health Statistics 2015, July 2015 version. The notes are available in PDF format.
A dashboard of key government indicators by country, to help you analyse international comparisons of public sector performance.
The Portuguese National Health Service has responded well to financial pressure, successfully balancing the twin priorities of financial consolidation and continuous quality improvement, according to a new OECD report.
This report reviews the quality of health care in Portugal, seeks to highlight best practices, and provides a series of targeted assessments and recommendations for further improvements to quality of care. The Portuguese National Health Service has responded well to financial pressure, successfully balancing the twin priorities of financial consolidation and continuous quality improvement. Even in the post-crisis years when GDP fell and health spending declined, improvements in quality of care continued. The need to reduce health spending has been met through a combination of structural reforms, and a well-designed suite of quality initiatives. Reforms around the purchasing and use of pharmaceuticals and medical devices have helped drive down costs, and Portugal has been innovative in how public funds are used to pay providers, increasingly basing payments on quality and efficiency. Important priorities for further work in the Portuguese health system do remain. Portugal will need to improve clinical processes and pathways, particularly in the acute sector. There is still room to improve efficiency, for instance increasing the share of generic drug consumption, and using the Portuguese health workforce more effectively, especially through expanded roles for nurses. Further structural reform is needed with an emphasis on shifting care out of hospitals into less-expensive community settings, and Portugal will also need to reflect on the strategic direction of the primary care system which, following an impressive reform, now risks developing into a two-tiered system with increasingly divergent levels of care quality.
This project drew on the initiatives for Better Regulation promoted by both the EU and the OECD over the last few years.
English, PDF, 367kb
Recent structural reforms have improved Portugal’s competitiveness and long-term growth prospects. However, this generally positive message conceals significant variations between sectors and also obscures the very substantial opportunities that further reforms can bring.
English, PDF, 51kb
Water resources allocation determines who is able to use water resources, how, when and where. Capturing information from 27 OECD countries and key partner economies, the report presents key findings from the OECD Survey of Water Resources Allocation and case studies of successful allocation reform.
This report, conducted with the support of the European Commission, is the result of close cooperation between this dedicated inter-ministerial team here today, the OECD, and a wide variety of stakeholders across Portuguese society - from employers, to educators, students and trade unions.