Survey suggests expats in Asia have overall health and wealth concerns

Published:  28 Jul at 6 PM
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Tagged: Study Abroad
A major survey has revealed expats living and working in Asia have more than the usual concerns about their own and their families’ health, wellbeing and wealth.

The study, involving over 2,000 expats between the ages of 29 and 59, measured the perceptions of expatriates living and working in some 20 countries, focusing on their outlooks regarding the concept of health in five personal sectors – work, family, physical, financial and social. The prospect of international exposure and its effect on accumulating wealth, improving career opportunities, positive relationships and a reduction in hours worked were all considered as the major attractions of working overseas.

However, the results of the survey revealed unforeseen challenges on all fronts, leading to dissatisfaction about the process itself. For instance, only 33 per cent of respondents felt their present financial circumstances were satisfactory, and a lack of quality time spent with family and friends was causing problems, as were matters concerning their childrens’ education.

Another major concern was health-related, with depression and other mental illnesses, the possibility of contracting cancer or being involved in life-threatening accidents all mentioned as leading to anxiety. Another issue raised by the expat professionals surveyed was the risk of alcohol-related illness, suggesting that stress and anxiety symptoms were being treated by drinking excessive amounts. Over half of those surveyed stated that, should serious health problems develop, they would return home for treatment rather than using local medical facilities.

In addition, the present-day political turmoil led to a third of respondents feeling far less safe and secure than in previous years. Many of those who took part in the survey declared problems with socialising outside the workplace, with between 20 and 25 per cent admitting to being lonely. The higher percentage relates to expats without partners or families who are living alone as a result.

One conclusion was that health considerations need to be given a prime position in the decision to relocate overseas, with employers also being urged to be more attentive to their expat professionals’ needs as regards health and wellbeing.

Source: Asian Correspondent
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