The cheapest places to live; but what is the healthcare like? -
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The cheapest places to live; but what is the healthcare like?

Everyone would like an inexpensive way of life but may be a
little sceptical of what they can expect, especially when moving abroad. Just
what are the countries like and what healthcare do they provide? How much
weight is there on expatriate medical insurance? These are the cheapest
countries to live in according to the Economist’s Intelligence 2013 Unit report.


The healthcare system is provided by both
the public and private sector. It fares poorly by international standards and
facilities, nutrition and hygiene is of low quality too, especially in rural
areas. Government funding is often questioned and even the basic healthcare is


There is a universal healthcare system that
every resident of Romania is entitled to, including free medical procedures.
However, residents may have to pay an additional fee to cover any further needs
that the free healthcare system doesn’t cover. Overall quality is good but
there is a lack of medical staff. 


Healthcare in Iran has rapidly improved
over the last few decades. A public health service has been extended to reach
more residents and entitles them to basic free healthcare. For expats however,
private medical insurance would be vital.

Sri Lanka

The country is renowned for its developing
healthcare. The public sector healthcare is universally accessible for the
entire population. Moreover, the quality of trained staff is high. Private
healthcare is popular with expats because it is cheap and of high quality. It
seems like a win-win situation.


Healthcare is inadequate in comparison to
other countries. The number of trained staff and hospital beds is low, as is
the level of sanitation. The poor generally receive free health care whereas
the wealthy pay. Private expatriate healthcare insurance is a must.


The quality of healthcare is high in the
cities but not so much in rural areas. Private health insurance is very cheap and
so are prescription drugs. Doctors are well trained and visits to the hospital
are very cheap. Panama is well known for its medical care.


The country has a universal healthcare
system but the private medical sector is more popular with residents and expats
alike. It tends to be cheap but the quality varies greatly. In urban areas, the
quality of healthcare is adequate, but in rural areas it is considered to be
very poor. Private expatriate medical insurance is needed.

Each country varies. Some may be cheap but
dangerous to live in with very poor quality. There are a few gems that are fast
developing with excellent healthcare and high quality services, ideal for

View our country guides to find out more about healthcare abroad. 

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