Health Concerns When Planning to Move Abroad

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Health concerns and a move abroad
Get health vaccinations before you move abroad. Pixabay, CC0 Creative Commons.

The decision to move abroad is a big one. You’ll leave behind all of your friends and family and step into unknown territory. There are a million things to deal with, from packing to selling your old house. But one thing that often gets overlooked are health concerns.

If you’re emigrating to a fairly exotic country, for example, there are all sorts of health implications that you don’t usually have to deal with at home. If you aren’t prepared for it, you won’t end up having the experience that you had hoped. So, before you leave, make sure you consider these things.

Vaccinations

Getting vaccinations is the first thing to do. There will be all sorts of illnesses that you haven’t been exposed to at home and if you don’t get vaccinated properly, you put yourself in serious danger.

Plus, most of the time a country won’t let you in without proof that you’ve been vaccinated anyway. Use this handy form to find out which vaccinations you need for your destination.

Then make an appointment with your doctor. When you meet, tell the GP about your plans to move abroad and they will set up appointments for you. Once you’re done, make sure you get the necessary paperwork from them to prove that you’re safe from health concerns. Leave enough time to get that done because some of those tests require more than one cycle.

Have a Plan in Case of Health Concerns

If the worst does happen and you get seriously ill overseas, you need to have a plan in place. One of the biggest considerations when health concerns arise is whether to go home or not.

If you are seriously ill, you may want to be close to your family. Look into hiring a medevac service that can take you home at short notice, if needed. Or, you could stay out there. But, depending on the situation, you may want to be closer to your loved ones. Plus, you need to work out what will happen to your family if you are unable to look after them.

Get a Checkup

While you’re still at home and you have your health insurance, you may as well take advantage of it. Go to the doctor and get a full medical checkup before your move abroad. You’re probably due for one anyway.

If you don’t get a checkup, you might arrive at the destination only to find that you’ve got lots of health issues to sort out. That’s going to be a huge hassle on top of everything else that you have to sort. Plus, your GP can identify any problems you might not know about. If there any health concerns come up, consider putting off the move. 

Understand the Healthcare System

The biggest mistake that people make when they move abroad is thinking that the healthcare system out there is going to be the same as back home. That’s not often the case as healthcare and insurance is incredibly complex. Just think back to the first time you tried to sort out your insurance.

If you don’t get to grips with the healthcare system before you move abroad, you’ll have a hard time trying to set it up when you get there. It’s even more difficult if you have a language barrier.

Final Words on Health Concerns and a Move Abroad

Now you can see that if you move abroad without making these preparations, you’ll get a nasty shock when you get out there! Prepare now to minimize any health concerns.

26 COMMENTS

  1. There’s so much to keep in mind. I have no wish to leave my country, but my retirement funds will be extremely limited. So I remind myself to be open to all options. I’ve seen many bloggers who are “expats”. Then I was talking to an exec at work recently, and he was thinking about retiring to another country. It’s an enticing, romantic idea… Hugs on the wing.

    • It is a romantic thought to move abroad.. we’ve seen it in so many movies and read about it in books.. you are right.. or you could come here to Canada for a vacation and see me 😉 Hugs!

    • It’s so exciting to travel and then.. the health issues come into play if the preparations aren’t done beforehand.. thanks for stopping here to visit and chat, Shey xxoo

  2. There is a reason that we have stopped our globe trotting and returned to Ireland! To give you an idea of how much your health insurance will cost it is quite useful to fill in a quote for one of the largest companies that operates in 170 countries. Once you have that with all the exclusions for pre-existing illnesses you will be able to factor in the cost. https://www.allianzworldwidecare.com/en/

    Also be aware that in many countries inheritance laws are still draconian and you have to make a will if you have a property in your name as the existing one that you made in your home country is not valid. You need to put several practical plans in place as we have seen many couples in their 70s and 80s faced with bereavement and the legal intricacies of their adopted country that make it even more stressful. My advice is to make sure you do everything through a lawyer who speaks your language and is an expert in expat regulations. That peace of mind will enable you to enjoy the sunshine and culture far more.

  3. I should bookmark this… I’ll probably be moving next year and healthcare is my major major concern. It’s scary to start a “medical relationship” from scratch.

    • Oh sweet friend I hope this post is helpful as a starting point for you. In the comments on this post, also be sure to read what Sally (pen name “Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life”)
      wrote as it provides more information. Doing your research beforehand is essential. May your move be a smooth one and many wonderful times await you <3

  4. Excellent points Christy. Often people don’t take into consideration the coverage they will have in another country. That goes for travelers on vacation as well. So many nightmare stories about people who travel without coverage. 🙂 xx

  5. A very good post, Christy. Healthcare is definitely a very important consideration when you travel as the systems are different in every country. I always look into healthcare when we travel as I have two children with chronic illnesses.

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