Which expat destinations have the best affordable healthcare?

Which expat destinations have the best affordable healthcare?

Which expat destinations have the best affordable healthcare?

Especially if you’re relocating with your family or are dreaming of an expat retirement overseas, healthcare is an important part of your forward planning.

Potential expatriates from the UK and USA could be forgiven for making comparisons based on Britain’s broken NHS, once the envy of the world, and the horrendous prices of healthcare in the USA. Anywhere, they believe, can’t be as bad or as expensive. However, healthcare standards as well as the numbers of English-speaking practitioners vary hugely across the world’s favourite expat destinations.

Surveys can help determine the quality of healthcare in a specific country, but they rarely note actual prices and are often aimed at expatriate professionals on generous salaries and packages. For retirees, it’s no comfort living in a destination with the world’s best quality of health care if its unaffordable or you’re too old to get private insurance cover. Also more and more countries are insisting on private healthcare insurance as a long-stay visa requirement.

Malaysia’s healthcare is frequently referred to as the best in the world for its infrastructure and ultra-modern technology, with language barriers less of a problem as the majority of practitioners were trained in Australia, the UK or the USA. The country is a popular medical tourism destination and expats can choose either private or public facilities. Unlike in many other Southeast Asian countries, private treatment is relatively affordable.

France’s excellent healthcare system is one reason why the country is so popular with expats from the UK and the rest of Europe. One recent survey claimed private treatment is comparatively affordable, and the World Health Organisation’s index has France in second place with 93 points out of one hundred and a great reputation for longevity. For expats living and working in France, registration with the French social security system must be made within three months of arrival with the scheme giving access to certain government benefits including healthcare.

Surprisingly, Ecuador also provides low-cost high-quality healthcare for a small percentage of the cost in the USA. State of the art equipment and private doctors willing to give that little extra combine to offer an excellent, affordable service to expats. Fees work out at between 10 and 30 per cent of the cost for comparable treatment in America. Since last year, all expat arrivals must provide proof of private health insurance or be denied entry, a trend which is becoming de rigueur across all popular expat destinations.

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