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Retiring abroad has healthcare implications

6th September 2006

Britons who retire abroad could face difficulties in receiving adequate health and social care, a leading expert has warned.

Michelle Mitchell, the head of public affairs at Age Concern England, has said that health difficulties can often occur for people living overseas due to difficulties in speaking the language or if a person's financial situation changes.

She told BBC One's Lunchtime News that Britons thinking of seeing out their retirement on foreign soil should consider how they would cope in certain situations and to do their research into whether they will be adequately looked after should they require medical care.

She explained that if a partner falls ill when abroad, "people can feel lonely and isolated and sometimes trapped, unable to find their way around what can be quite complicated social security and healthcare systems".

In addition, many countries run health systems along far different lines to that of the UK, meaning the process can be bewildering to the uninitiated.

Research by Clerical Medical suggests that 30 per cent of Britons are intent on retiring abroad.