Healthcare is perhaps the most important and overlooked concern for new expats. Nationalised health care in the UK has meant that most people take it for granted. It can also be a huge cost, especially if you have a family. There are some NHS provisions for expats, particularly in the EU and Commonwealth countries; however, expats who are non-residents are normally exempt from these provisions, mainly due to the widely reported health tourism issues. This refers to people travelling to the UK with the sole intention of receiving free healthcare. Recently, these issues were addressed with various acts of parliament. Some British expats, who would previously have been eligible for healthcare on the NHS, are no longer able to return to the UK for free treatment.
Some expat workers get comprehensive health cover within their remuneration package. For those not covered, there are many excellent health insurance packages for British expatriates. All of the largest private healthcare providers in the UK have international insurance policies and there are many expat-specific health insurance providers.
Before you set off, you should speak to your GP about what vaccines may be required, and what local health issues there might be. Keep in mind some vaccinations require periodic boosters.
The quality of healthcare can vary from country to country but in the popular expat destinations there are international hospitals which offer first class healthcare with English speaking doctors and nurses. Please refer to the Expat & Offshore city guides for location specific information.