Four-in-five (84%) male expats have needed to access healthcare since moving abroad, according to new research by AXA – Global Healthcare. However, the research has also revealed that three-quarters (72%) have concerns about the healthcare in their new country, with two-thirds (65%) claiming that they would even travel back to their home country to receive medical treatment. This was in comparison with just 59% of women.
When asked what specifically concerned them about the local medical facilities, a quarter of male expats said that they were worried about the quality of medical care (26%) and cost of treatment (26%), while nearly a fifth were worried about the facilities (18%) and being away from their family while ill (15%).
Logistical concerns were an issue for many, with 15% worrying about having to pay up-front for treatment and 12% feeling concerned about arranging treatment in a foreign language.
Andy Edwards, Chief Customer Officer, AXA – Global Healthcare commented: “As exciting as it can be to start a new life abroad, getting ill in an unfamiliar environment can be daunting. 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.”
The research also found that male expats’ concern about the local healthcare facilities varied in different countries. A huge proportion (94%) of men in Hong Kong were worried about the local healthcare, compared with 84% in UAE, 76% in France, 65% in Canada and 64% in UK.
However, male expats in different countries had different approaches. Three-quarters (74%) of those in the UAE would return home for medical treatment, compared with 61% in France, 55% in the UK, 49% in Hong Kong and 42% in Canada.
Andy Edwards concluded: “It’s normal to feel nervous about seeking medical attention abroad, and in some cases, it may be necessary to travel elsewhere for certain treatments or to visit particular specialists. There are plenty of great sources of advice that can help to make your experience more manageable, though. Whether you’re turning to fellow expats or local friends for support, your local doctor or a virtual doctor service, your insurer or even a simple internet search, finding a source you trust is half the battle.”