It’s generally accepted that COVID-19 has challenged the wellbeing of most employees. It’s also recognised that the wellbeing of expats has been especially hard hit.
Healthcare is one particular area where expat wellbeing can be challenging, particularly when online solutions aren’t enough. It is likely it will be a consideration both for existing expats and those considering it in the future. Ever changing quarantine rules and restrictions have made it obvious that moving around for preferred healthcare is not as easy as it was.
Healthcare problems for employees soon become problems and concerns for their employers and healthcare solutions often need a different dimension where expats are involved.
Looking beyond the NHS
Whilst the UK is proud of its ‘universally free at point of contact’ National Health Service, even where an expat has been allocated their NHS number, and can use the service, they won’t always be comfortable doing so.
The processes, techniques and environment can feel alien to some, but the language and terminology can be an additional, and often the biggest, challenge.
The pressures of the pandemic are changing the experience for all users of the NHS doctors and hospital system. Access is getting harder even for first language English speakers, waiting lists getting longer and expats are at additional disadvantages sometimes.
The following are four key areas in which expat health care demand, access, adoption and provision has been affected by the pandemic.
Broadstone has a specific approach to supporting expats from Japan, China and Korea which address these areas.
- Seeking medical care
Many expats have been reluctant to seek medical attention, whether for suspected COVID-19 or other conditions. This is particularly the case for the expat community as they may be less familiar with healthcare system in their new home. They may not trust it, and this can affect whether they seek medical attention at the right time.
- Healthcare quality
Expats are questioning the quality of the healthcare they are offered more than ever. As well as existing expats, future expat candidates are more likely to question whether they will be able to access quality care when they arrive. This is driving a desire to understand health and healthcare systems in their new homes more than ever.
- Healthcare security
People are increasingly wanting to know they have secure healthcare provision when they need it — not just hoping that they will be fine. They want to be sure that care in their new home is well defined and reliable. This means reviewing healthcare insurance coverage and identifying gaps. This can play an important role in the decision to move or stay abroad.
- Mental health
Expats are focusing on mental as well as physical health. Expats are recognising that these are stressful times, certainly when moving abroad and taking on assignments and stress can compound mental health issues.
How can Broadstone help?
Broadstone is a leading, independent, full-service pension and employee benefits consultancy.
With over 500 employees across seven locations in the United Kingdom, the group provides tailored services for businesses and supports a client base that includes start-ups and Global Fortune 500 companies.
Companies can face a range of challenges when investing in foreign countries. Key issues include how to take care of employees who are seconded to oversee operations and issues relating to the management of local employees.
Looking after the health and wellbeing of seconded employees (and their families) could be challenging due to cultural issues, different healthcare requirements or simply how to manage their medical expenses cost-effectively. As part of our support for our clients, we have a dedicated team specialised in providing health insurance solutions to those seconded employees and their families. The team has a strong understanding of cultural issues and provides first-class support and a truly personalized service.
The solutions include:
- Access to dedicated Japanese, Chinese and Korean language support
- Access to cashless services at Japanese, Chinese and Korean medical facilities
- Comprehensive benefits, including dental and health screening
- International coverage
- Access to free online/telephone consultations (24/7)
- Access to free Employee Assistance Programme
Speak to us to find out what Broadstone can do for your current and future seconded employees in terms of health and wellbeing and other services available.
Read more about Broadstone in the Japanese Times.