Health won’t be at the forefront of the minds of many expats.
They will be too busy working or living abroad and why should they when they
are either covered by private expat medical insurance or covered by their employee?
However, there is are a rising number of expats suffering from the likes of
diabetes and obesity.
Cases in the east
The majority of expats who are at risk of developing
diabetes are located in areas such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India and Egypt.
This is due to a drastic change in a series of factors such as lifestyle, diet
and genetics, and it is most likely to affect those who have been working
abroad for a long period of time. Therefore, it is just as important for an
expat to take action and keep tabs on their well-being.
Moving abroad to any other country will be a shock to the
body as routine, food and lifestyle can be startling different to what the
expat was used to. Getting used to these differences can be difficult and can
also take some time. As a result, expats are encouraged to take time out to
exercise regularly and keep check of what they are eating, aiming to maintain
the healthiest lifestyle balance as possible. These are factors that
international travel health insurance cannot influence.
Diabetes can cause a number of chronic syndromes including
heart complications and kidney failure and can also cause high blood
cholesterol, high blood sugar and high blood pressure. All of these can be
monitored through regular check-ups. The effects of the disease can be so
serious that it can cause disability, loss of sight and result in lower limb
There are currently an estimated 336 million people
suffering from diabetes in the world. This is predicted to rise to a staggering
550 million by 2030. Although expatriate health insurance will cover those
suffering from the likes of diabetes, some of the consequences are lifelong
which no amount of international healthcare insurance can repair.
Infecting the country
In the UAE it has been found that diseases such as TB and
malaria are ‘imported’ by expats, posing a massive threat as most of the UAE
population is made up of expats. There was a total of 9,891 cases in 2012 alone
and expats made up around 95% of the sum. Quite often expats fear losing their
jobs or being deported upon finding out they have a serious illness. Often
their employers encourage it by which time possessing expat insurance becomes
rather futile because most cases are left undiagnosed.
International healthcare insurance is provided for the
well-being of expats but expats need to be active in monitoring their health
when moving abroad to a drastically different country.