Gransnet forums


Health service abroad

(8 Posts)
P1234 Fri 12-Feb-21 20:33:09

Hi everyone, I am looking at spending several months abroad when can. Any grans with holiday homes abroad, how do you manage healthcare, prescriptions etc. Thanks in advance

Newatthis Sun 14-Feb-21 19:41:25

It depends where you're going and is more difficult now as it is post Brexit. Check everything beforehand. Your doctor might give you a prescription for a few months but check with your holiday insurance as they need to know you will be going for an extended period. I don't think you can get prescriptions anymore in Europe (post Brexit again) but I am not sure about this. There is a lot of information on the .GOV website. Are you allowed to travel at the moment as your holiday health insurance won't cover because the government has advised against travel.

Nannarose Sun 14-Feb-21 22:03:29

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office offer specific advice on each country on their website. Look very carefully.
Often there are reciprocal arrangements for emergency care, but exact definitions can vary. In some countries services are offered in such different ways that it can be difficult to compare. The definitions of institutions such as 'clinic', 'nursing home' etc. may differ.
Also be aware that your entitlement to some services in the UK may lapse after a period abroad.
I think that if you asked about a specific country, some nans might be able to advise, or direct you to websites that might be useful.
Regarding prescriptions: arrangements are being made with individual countries. But what you can buy 'over the counter' also varies, so that may be helpful.

paddyanne Sun 14-Feb-21 22:30:45

isn't it 90 days maximum in EU countries now? Over the whole year.

GagaJo Sun 14-Feb-21 22:32:17

I don't advise Switzerland. I pay over 300 a month for health insurance here, and that is the most basic service possible.

MerylStreep Sun 14-Feb-21 22:49:57


isn't it 90 days maximum in EU countries now? Over the whole year.

There is a world outside the eu. I have friends who spend long periods in Canada, Turkey and Morocco.

P1234 Mon 15-Feb-21 08:55:31

Thanks everyone for your replies. I will look at gov website. Thinking of spending some time in Spain over next winter and have regular prescription. Don't think my Dr will give me 3 months in advance though. Thanks again

MissChateline Mon 15-Feb-21 09:34:53

We have a place in the Canary Islands and the plan was to spend the winter there every year and pop over for holidays whenever we felt like it. It was also for our family and friends to use whenever they wanted as well. However given the current circumstances it didn’t work out like that.
My partner who was working in Switzerland for 20 years decided to take Spanish residency when she retired last February. It was a long and complicated process helped by the fact that her Spanish is fluent and that she had previously worked in Madrid and had a NI number. She had to prove income and ownership of a property there. In order to get her pension paid to our Spanish bank she had to take out health insurance and jump through numerous hoops. I didn’t want the same residency status so I am limited now by the 90 day rule. This doesn’t really bother me as I’m not so Spanish as she is.
I did spend 4 months there last winter and what I realised was that such a length of time was not going to work for me. I don’t speak the language which made everything difficult and I missed my friends and family enormously. I registered with the local health centre and when I did need to see a doctor I was able to do this through the EHIC agreement and will be able to do until it expires.
But the main problem was leaving my house in the UK for this length of time especially in the winter was disastrous. I arranged for a friend to visit on a regular basis and stay overnight to maintain the insurance conditions. I’m still today clearing up the mess of neglect in my attic room from damp and condensation. I’ve had builders, plasterers and decorators sorting the problem and they are still working on it today. I doubt that any of this would have happened if the property had not been left.