The Healthy Expat

Those living away from their own country and its familiar health and welfare services can feel vulnerable in their new location. Health and access to proper care is at the heart of people’s wellbeing.

Those who do not feel confident that they can readily access the help they need may not enjoy their expat life.

There are some critical elements to this sense of healthy wellbeing:

  • First, you need to be sure you can be properly treated and cared for if you fall ill or have an accident.
  • Second, you need to get the right diagnosis for your ailment or injury.
  • Third, you need to be sure you can easily obtain the right medication to treat your condition.
  • Fourth, if your condition is serious and local healthcare is not to the highest standard, can you be transported to the best clinical care?


Check For Disease Outbreaks 

One of the major hazards of the expat life is going to territories where infectious diseases are not under control in the same way as they are generally in the West. It’s best to check the health hazards before you reach your new location, and you can do this in a number of ways.

First port of call should be the World Health Organisation’s website where there are regularly updated disease outbreak reports. You can select your destination under the Countries tab and review recent health advisories.

Another good source for health advice while you are abroad is the Travel Health Pro website.

There you will find:

  • Latest news on disease outbreaks
  • Which vaccinations you will need to have for travel in different areas
  • Descriptions of, and treatments for, diseases
  • Specific country healthcare information.


Be Sure You Are Insured

For peace of mind when you are away from home comforts many expats make sure they have appropriate international medical insurance cover. If this cover is not provided by your employer you will need to seek it out yourself.

It may be helpful to consult an international insurance adviser to find the best policy to suit your circumstances.

See our Healthcare directory here:


If moving to Australia your medical insurance needs to meet 457 visa requirements with compliance policies available at 457 Visa Compared