While the majority of expats have found wealth and happiness since moving abroad, it seems the grass is not always greener for health. 44% of expatriates believe the standard of healthcare is worse in their new country, according to a survey by expatriate health insurer Bupa International. One in five believe that that their health has deteriorated since moving abroad.
The research also shows that one in five expats say they would rather be treated outside their country of origin or current residence if they fell seriously ill. The countries topping the table of where people would most like to be treated given the choice are Singapore (23%), followed by the USA (15%) South Africa (10%), and the UK (10%).
Dr Sneh Khemka for Bupa International says, “While Singapore is seen to have the best healthcare by nearly a quarter of expats, the truth is that while there are many excellent hospitals in Singapore, the quality of healthcare available there varies, like it does in every country around the world. So it is very important to have access to expert medical advice when living abroad to be sure that you are going to be directed to the most appropriate facilities, whichever country you are in. Becoming ill or injured can be particularly worrying when you are living far away from home. We o know where the best hospitals are, so we can provide local advice to our customers and arrange rapid access to the best treatment locally, in the nearest country with available facilities, or even back home, wherever that may be. We offer customers access to more than 200,000 medical providers worldwide and can settle bills directly with over 7,500 hospitals and clinics. We also have a worldwide emergency medical centre staffed by a team of experienced, multi-lingual advisers who offer customers support and advice 24 hours a day, every day. We recently helped a customer who was involved in a severe accident in the Bahamas, evacuating him by air ambulance to the nearest centre of medical excellence in Miami for emergency treatment.”
International health insurance: News update: 22 October 2010