Four-in-five male expats have accessed healthcare since moving abroad, research finds
A survey by AXA - Global Healthcare has found that local health services have been used by 84% of men living abroad, however 72% said they have concerns about the healthcare in their new country.
Two thirds (65%) of men even claimed they would travel back to their home country to receive medical treatment - compared to 56% of women.
A quarter of male expats said they were most worried about the quality of medical care (26%) and cost of treatment (26%), while nearly a fifth (18%) said they were worried about the facilities and 15% said they did not want to be away from their family while unwell.
Another concern was logistics, with 15% worrying about having to pay upfront for treatment and 12% feeling concerned about arranging treatment in a foreign language.
"As exciting as it can be to start a new life abroad, getting ill in an unfamiliar environment can be daunting," said Andy Edwards, chief customer officer, AXA - Global Healthcare. "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 concerns among male expats varied in different countries, with a huge proportion (94%) of men in Hong Kong were worried about local healthcare, compared to 84% in UAE, 76% in France, 65% in Canada and 64% in the UK.
It is also found that three-quarters (74%) of men living abroad in UAE would return home for medical treatment, compared to 61% in France, 55% in the UK, 49% in Hong Kong and 42% in Canada.
"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," said Edwards. "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."
The research project, which was conducted in February 2019, surveyed a total of 1,352 expats (250 in the UK, France, UAE, Canada and China and 100 in Hong Kong) - 793 were men.
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