There are so many factors to consider when you move abroad that you may have b=neglected your own health. Moving is one of the most stressful things you can do with your life. It has a similarly traumatic effect on the brain as mourning a death. When you decide to move abroad, instead of moving within your nation, you open yourself up to so many new complex issues that it puts most people off. As it stands now, there are nearly 300 million global immigrants. How many of those expats investigated the health service in the new country before they moved there?
Is Moving Abroad Good for your Health?
Before you move, think carefully about whether moving abroad will have a positive or negative impact on your health and wellbeing. Moving is daunting, so consider your mental health as well as the physical. Moving home can do untold damage to mental wellness, so plan your moves well in advance.
Healthcare Considerations for Emigrating
The following factors are all considerations you ought to make before committing to a move abroad. Otherwise, you may find your housing improves while your health fails.
The Healthcare System
Do you have health insurance? Do you need health insurance? Does your new country have a health service you can use? The chances are that you cannot access healthcare in your new country until you into their system. In countries like Spain, you must pay an annual fee to join their health service. You may, however, join the service for free if you have a contracted job working in Spain. In the UK, there is a national health service. However, foreign nationals must meet requirements before they can access it. Worst of all is the US, where only private health insurance will do – and where you still get a bill, even with the insurance.
A top tip is to bypass all the above and just get your own international health insurance. You can learn about global health insurance to help you decide.
Prescriptions and Existing Treatments
The first thing you ought to check is if your long-term medications are available in your new country. You should then find out if you can transport them between countries just in case your medication is illegal in your destination country. There are terrible stories of people whom police arrest in airports for carrying prescription painkillers. Tramadol and Codeine, legal in the west, are not welcome in some countries.
As to your existing treatments, you must ensure you can keep them going, preferably uninterrupted, when you move. If you see a therapist, CBT counsellor, or psychiatrist for depression and anxiety, for example, you will have to find a therapist who can continue your good work. They will either need to speak your language, or you will have to hire a translator, too.
It isn’t as easy as calling the doctor in your new town and demanding an appointment. You must register with the practice first. You may have to wait for a few weeks while your details are processed, or until medics can treat you as part of the health service there. You must learn where the nearest hospital is in advance, and you must also find a dentist who will treat you.
The sooner you take care of registrations and processing, the sooner your family will be safe abroad. Of course, if you opt for a good health insurance firm, they can help you by referring you to medical facilities, should the worst happen.
There are those among us who don’t function at the same level as the rest. The neurodivergent masses must maintain a certain level of stability within their daily lives. This becomes especially important during periods of intense stress. There are few things in life more stressful than uprooting your life and moving elsewhere.
To keep your wellbeing in peak condition, you must maintain the practices which make you more comfortable, should you have stayed at home. If that means finding the nearest forest for your daily walk, then do it. If it means paying close attention to your diet, then do so. If it means getting extra sleep, then sleep longer. Be patient with yourself and appreciate that your mental health and wellbeing are just as important as your physical health and wellbeing.
Further Advice for Healthcare Abroad
The key trend in all the above is research. The more you know, the more prepared you are if something goes wrong. Register for medical professionals as soon as you arrive, or before you leave, if possible. Most of all, don’t neglect your health during the big move. You will burn yourself out for months if you do.