Eighty-four per cent of male expatriates have needed to seek medical help while living abroad, according to AXA Global Healthcare – and 72 per cent say that they have concerns about the standard of local healthcare. AXA’s research even suggests that 65 per cent of male expats would rather book a flight back to their home country than receive medical care abroad.
AXA asked these expats about their specific concerns, and found that 26 per cent had qualms with the quality of care abroad, while another 26 per cent were worried about the cost, 18 per cent were worried about the facilities and 15 per cent simply would not wish to be away from their family (assuming their family still resided in their home country) while ill. Another 15 per cent said that they would have concerns about paying for treatment up front, while 12 per cent were not confident that they would be able to arrange their own treatment in a country where they did not speak the language very well.
Looking at the geographical breakdown, 94 per cent of men residing in Hong Kong expressed concerns about local healthcare, 84 per cent living in the UAE had similar concerns, 76 per cent of those living in France said the same, and 65 per cent and 64 per cent in Canada and the UK respectively expressed similar worries.
Interestingly, however, while 74 per cent of those residing in the UAE would travel home for medical treatment, only 61 per cent of those in France would, 55 per cent of those in the UK would, 49 per cent of those in Hong Kong would and 42 per cent of those in Canada would.
“As exciting as it can be to start a new life abroad, getting ill in an unfamiliar environment can be daunting,” said Andy Edwards, AXA – Global Healthcare’s Chief Customer Officer. “Whether you’re concerned about the facilities or treatment options that are available in your new home, trying to navigate an unfamiliar healthcare system or simply being away from your family, it’s vital that anyone who is considering living abroad takes some time to research the local healthcare facilities and consider options like booking a health check before you relocate to highlight any potential issues to be aware of before you go.”