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Majority of expat men ‘worried about local healthcare’

Two thirds would return home for treatment

The majority of men living abroad are concerned about their local healthcare facilities, with two-thirds prepared to return to their home country for treatment, a poll shows.

The survey by AXA – Global Healthcare also found 84% of male expats have needed to access healthcare since moving abroad.

However, 72% have concerns about the healthcare in their new country, with 65% claiming that they would travel back to their home country to receive medical treatment. This compares with 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 some, with 15% worrying about having to pay upfront for treatment and 12% feeling concerned about arranging treatment in a foreign language.

Andy Edwards, chief customer officer at AXA – Global Healthcare, said 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,” he advised.

The research found that male expats’ concern about the local healthcare facilities varied in different countries. For example, 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 the UK. 

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.