AXA PPP Healthcare says that enquiries for international healthcare suggest that ex-pats are now considering new destinations such as Bulgaria to take advantage of much cheaper living costs and regular sunny weather that rivals the French Riviera. Cyprus has experienced a strong surge in the first six months of 2008 whereas enquiries from Spain have fallen by 18 per cent, perhaps reflecting concerns over the Spanish property market.
Karen Teasdale, Overseas and Expatriate Manager at AXA PPP Healthcare, says: "More people are deciding to leave the UK and set up home abroad. With little knowledge of the quality of healthcare coupled with unfamiliar surroundings and language barriers, ensuring prompt access to private healthcare is of high importance to those relocating abroad. Our customers are concerned about the cost and availability of healthcare in Europe. Some people, particularly early retirees, are finding themselves legally excluded from healthcare services in some countries such as France and parts of Spain."
Typical private sector hospital costs abroad for a hip replacement in a private hospital:
- France £18,000
- Spain £8,000
- Cyprus £5,000
- Bulgaria £4,000