It is increasingly popular for professionals and their families to take work abroad; whether it is through their current employer, a new opportunity or simply the freedom that self-employment offers. In fact, it is estimated that between 4.5 and 4.7 million British citizens live abroad for at least part of the year.
There are obvious attractions, the weather, food, new opportunities, etc. but one thing that often doesn’t compare to the UK is healthcare. We take for granted the level of healthcare and its cost as UK citizens, but should you find yourself ill in a foreign country it may not be so straightforward.
With so much excitement and so many other things to think about, it’s easy to put your health at the bottom of the list, but it should be right at the top. Before you go, ensure you have had any necessary injections and treatments, and always talk to your GP about managing existing conditions.
If you’re going abroad for a short period of time you may simply be able to take medication with you, but getting it whilst you’re abroad may be a different matter.
Do your research
Read as much as possible about the healthcare provision in your destination country before you go. We all know that when we go on holiday that simple things like drinking the water can cause health issues. Going to live in another country can bring additional hazards that you need to be fully aware of to protect yourself and your family.
Understanding how the health system works is essential too, how much will it cost for a consultation, simple procedure or emergency operation? And when do you pay for treatment, before it takes place or afterwards?
Get the right health cover
Some countries will actually turn you away for treatment if you don’t have the right cover, so health insurance is essential. There are different types and levels of cover depending on the country you will be living in, so a one-size-fits all policy doesn’t exist.
Before you go, talk to an expat or international health insurance specialist about your plans so they can advise you on the best cover, they might also be able to give you some restaurant tips!