About ERS

Who we are
The Portuguese Healthcare Regulation Authority (Entidade Reguladora da Saúde – ERS) is the independent public body responsible for regulating the activity of health care providers in Portugal.

Who we regulate
The scope of regulation includes all public, private or social health care providers, regardless of their individual or collective nature, located in Portugal, notwithstanding the powers and competences of the regional governments of the Autonomous Regions of Azores and Madeira .
Currently ERS oversees close to 22,000 health care facilities. Manufacturers, distributors and sellers of pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices are excluded from the regulatory scope of ERS.
 
What we do

ERS supervises the health care facilities on:
• the compliance with legal requirements for the health care provision activity,
• the protection of health care service users’ rights, including access and freedom of choice,
• the legality and transparency in the economic relations between providers, payers and users,
• fair competition in health care markets.
 
How we do it
ERS carries out several regulation and supervision activities, including:
  • registering health care providers,
  • licensing health care providers,
  • handling complaints from service users, regarding public, private or social providers,
  • carrying out inspections and audits to heath care provider facilities,
  • carrying out investigations of situations with significant adverse impact on the rights of patients or on the quality and safety of care,
  • conducting administrative offence procedures involving health care providers and applying the resulting sanctions,
  • carrying out Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms (mediation and conciliation) between public, private and social health care providers and between providers and health care users.
  • producing studies, advice papers and recommendations.
 
How can we help you
If you believe that an health care provider violated your (or someone else’s) rights, you may file a complaint by:
  • asking the provider to write in the official Complaints Books, which must be made available by public, private and social health care providers,
  • submitting it in the Online Complaints Book that is available at www.ers.pt,
  • writing it and addressing it to ERS by postal mail or email.