Statistics Portugal - Web Portal
Official Portal - Statistics Portugal

Recovery of hospital activity in 2022
World Health Day - 7 April
Recovery of hospital activity in 2022
05 April 2024


On the occasion of World Health Day, which will be celebrated on April 7, Statistics Portugal is releasing a new edition of "Health Statistics", mainly with indicators for 2022.

The following results stand out:

• In 2022, there were 60,396 doctors and 81,799 nurses in Portugal, 2.8% more doctors and 1.9% more nurses than in 2021. The indicator for the number of doctors per thousand inhabitants was highest in Grande Lisboa region (8.3 doctors per thousand inhabitants) and lowest in the Oeste e Vale do Tejo region (2.5 doctors per thousand inhabitants), while the indicator for the number of nurses per thousand inhabitants was highest in the Região Autónoma da Madeira e in Região Autónoma dos Açores (9.8 and 10.1 nurses per thousand inhabitants, respectively) and lowest in the Oeste e Vale do Tejo region (4.9).

• After hospital activity was strongly affected by the pandemic context, in 2022 there continues to be a recovery in care provided in hospital settings. Medical appointments, operating room surgeries and diagnostic and/or therapeutic complementary acts have increased to values higher than those recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

• Emergency care was the aspect of hospital activity that saw the biggest increase compared to 2021, with 1.5 million more attendances (+23.9%). The recovery seen in 2022 allows us to get closer to the figure prior to 2020, the year in which hospital emergency attendances fell by 30.3% and reached the lowest value since 1999.

• In 2022, public or public-private partnership hospitals continued to be the main providers of health services, providing 86.2% of diagnostic and/or therapeutic complementary acts, 81.6% of emergency care attendances, 74.6% of hospitalizations and 71.5% of operating room surgeries. Public sector hospitals also provided the majority of medical appointments, but this is the component of activity in which private hospitals were able to achieve the most significant weight, accounting for 38.0% of the total.

• The proportion of the population with long-standing limitations in their usual activities due to health problems, which is an internationally recognized approximation to the concept of disability, continued to fall in 2023 to 33.4%, representing 0.6 percentage points (p.p.) lower than the result of 2022 (34.0%).

• The "Healthy life years" indicator, which combines information of the life expectancy of the population and the existence long-standing limitations due to health problems, shows that in 2021 the average life expectancy for a man aged 65 was 18.3 years and for a woman aged 65 was 22.0, but taking into account limitations due to health problems results in a healthy life expectancy of only 8.4 years for a man aged 65 and 7.4 years for a woman of the same age, in both cases lower than the averages in the European Union (EU-27) of 9.5 years for men and 9.9 years for women.

• In 2023, according to the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 2-item (GAD-2) model, 34.3% of the population aged 16 and over had symptoms of generalized anxiety, including 11.1% with more severe levels of anxiety. The results of a logistic regression model associating the probability of generalized anxiety disorder with some personal characteristics and territorial and family context for the adult population suggest that women and the unemployed are more likely to have symptoms of generalized anxiety, but that age and schooling are negatively related to that probability. Situations of food insufficiency, chronic (long-standing) illness and the existence of limitation in activities because of health problems contribute to an increase in the probability of generalized anxiety symptoms.

• A logistic regression model was also developed to check whether the available statistical data empirically supports the association of high satisfaction with life in general among the population aged 18 and over with certain personal characteristics and their territorial and family context, when considered simultaneously. The results obtained are particularly robust and significant in terms of the relationship between satisfaction with life in general and self-perceived health status – the probability of revealing high satisfaction with life in general decreases as self-perceived health status worsens; for example, perceiving one's own health status as very bad decreases the probability of assessing satisfaction with life in general as high by 49.4 p.p. compared to self-perceiving health status as very good.

See the Publication

See the Infographics Saúde em Portugal 2022 and Saúde em Portugal 2022 - Hospitais

Press release
Download the document PDF (438 Kb)
Excel Excel (636 Kb)
ZIP CSV (58 Kb)