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'Expatriates without medical insurance could face hefty bills'

British expatriates who return to the UK without having private healthcare insurance could face significant charges, claims one expatriate guide.

According to ShelterOffshore.com, even having been abroad for three months could lead to complications.

The site’s founder and director, Rhiannon Davies, told Emirates publication the National: "If an expat is travelling outside their new nation of residence they will need to consider having travel insurance in place, as they will not automatically be insured for their journey, their luggage or even their health without such a policy."

People can receive emergency treatment on their return, Ms Davies pointed out, but she was keen to stress it was the follow-up care which can prove costly.

"If an expat is admitted through a hospital’s accident and emergency department and goes on to need further treatment as an inpatient or outpatient, for example, this ongoing treatment may not be free," Ms Davies told the publication.

The United Arab Emirates has seen a recent growth in its healthcare sectors, helped by government-backed healthcare initiatives.

Euromonitor’s assessment of the region predicted that from 2007, the sale of over-the-counter drugs will continue to increase, helped by an increasingly health-conscious public.ADNFCR-1788-ID-19195856-ADNFCR

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