Thursday 24 February 2011

Aviva Introduces My Health Passport To Help Support Expats

As an expat myself, I can tell you that I thought this was a really good idea when I read this earlier. Definitely something to sort out if you're planning on moving overseas or have already gone to live abroad. Although it could also be a handy tool for keeping track of your, and your family's, health records even if you're staying in Britain.


Gaps in basic knowledge about their health could mean that expats are putting themselves at risk, according to research from Aviva UK Health.

The Aviva My Health Passport study reveals that many Brits lack essential knowledge about their own health. Given that medical records are not automatically transferred overseas when people move to live or work abroad, many of the 5.5m people considering leaving Britain1, could find themselves on foreign shores without a record of their previous health.

Key findings from the research include:

69% of people don't know their blood pressure

63% don't know their blood group

50% of respondents are either not up to date with their tetanus/diphtheria vaccinations, or don't know whether they are up to date with their injections

Nearly one in five women (18%) don't know when they had their last smear test

Over a third (35%) have struggled to remember their medical history when they've changed GP as a result of a house move

To help fill this knowledge gap, Aviva has produced 'My Health Passport'. It is available in two formats, a short downloadable version to capture useful information such as personal details, blood group, illnesses and GP and insurance provider contact details, and a printed booklet to capture more comprehensive health information. This includes details relating to screenings, vaccinations, operations and wellness checks.

Although My Health Passport has been designed with expats in mind, it can also be used by people in the UK as a useful place to store their health records.

Teresa Rogers, Business Lead for International PMI at Aviva said: "Moving overseas can be stressful, particularly if you are being sent on an overseas assignment for work. With so much to remember, sometimes people neglect one of the most important things - their health.

"Being an international medical insurance provider, we know that a large number of people require medical care while abroad. But, unfortunately, medical records are not easily accessible, particularly as they aren't automatically transferred by your GP. Easy access to personal health information can be vital, particularly in a medical emergency situation or when visiting a GP or pharmacist abroad. We've developed My Health Passport as we want to encourage people to remember to take this information with them."

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