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Expat Investor : January February 2008
January/February 2008 EXPAT INVESTOR 17 HEALTHCARE Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. © AXA PPP healthcare 2007 Lines are open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturday (UK time). Calls may be recorded. All claims will be assessed against the terms and conditions of the chosen product and any individual exclusions placed on your policy at joining. For great British healthcare -- worldwide -- join us now and we'll give you up to two months' cover free Call +44(0)1892 550814 quoting reference EI5555 or visit www.axappphealthcare.co.uk/expat_investor When you're living, working, travelling or retired away from home you deserve quality healthcare insurance from a well grounded company that really knows their way around the world of healthcare cover! AXA PPP healthcare has an International Health Plan to suit most needs. Join us and you can rely on quick, easy access to private medical treatment; a choice of hospitals; emergency evacuation or repatriation; plus an English-speaking health information line that's on call for you around-the-clock. Wherever you have a family get together AXA PPP healthcare is right there with you The public health care system in Sweden is of a very high standard, with a high amount of government spending being invested in health care. The system is also funded by local government tax, and patients may have to pay a small amount of fees for their medical treatment, usually limited to £60 a year. Sweden is known to provide one of the best public health services in Europe. They have three doctors per 1,000 people and have one of the lowest rates of cancer deaths. There is a reciprocal health agreement in place between the UK and Sweden, entitling you to emergency medical treatment. According to the Department of Health, the following details the treatment that is covered and what you will be charged for: "Doctors and dentists: make sure the doctor you see is affiliated to the public insurance scheme. You must show your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), or you will be charged the full cost of treatment. With an EHIC, you will still have to pay the full cost of dental treatment up to a fixed limit, and most of the cost above this limit. Any reductions will be made before you get your bill. Prescriptions: you will have to pay the full cost of any prescription drugs up to a limit, and part of any costs above this limit. Hospitals: you can go to any public hospital. In-patient care is free, but you will have to pay part of the cost of any outpatient care. There is a fixed, non-refundable daily charge." When you have registered and are paying into the Swedish social security system, you will qualify for public health care benefits and will only need to give your 'personnummer' (personal code) in order to receive emergency treatment. For non- emergency medical care you can book an appointment with your local health centre or register with a doctor. When registering with a doctor you must be careful to ensure that they are working for the state health service, otherwise you may face private medical costs. Most of Sweden's sunshine is in the summer months between May and late July. But you may still experience sub-zero temperatures and snowfall even in the summer. Because of the country's northern latitude it doesn't really get dark in the summer. However, in the winter months there is a lack of daylight and this can have a depressing effect on foreigners. Netdoctor.co.uk only recommends one vaccination before you travel to Sweden and that is tick-borne encephalitis three months before your departure. There is a risk of tick-borne encephalitis in costal areas, especially in the Stockholm Archipelago. Health issues in Sweden Fast Facts 22014 Fast Facts 22446 Fast Facts 22445 According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) several hundred thousand cockpit and cabin crew worldwide are exposed to cosmic radiation on a day-to-day basis thanks to the nature of their jobs. And when you consider that the number of frequent flyers is steadily increasing, this level of exposure can only get worse. Cosmic radiation (CR) is a form of ionising radiation and is made up from charged particles such as protons and helium zooming through space. When these particles enter the earth's atmosphere they disrupt atoms, producing radiation. Radiation is always present on the earth -- with about 17% from cosmic radiation. Airlines have been aware for a long time that air travel exposes their employees and passengers to some health risks, such as deep vein thrombosis and the spread of germs and viruses. They also know that cosmic radiation has the potential to cause cancer. The amount of cosmic radiation you are exposed to while flying depends on a number of things, including the altitude, latitude, length and frequency of time spent flying and solar activity. The higher you fly the less effective the earth's protective layers are. Certain routes are known to expose those travelling by air to higher levels of radiation. For example, long haul flights that fly across the northern and southern poles where the earth's magnetic fields are not as efficient at deflecting particles could, in theory, heighten your chances of getting cancer. A transatlantic flight is equivalent to having at least one chest X-ray. There is, however, little evidence so far that occupational exposure to cosmic radiation increases cancer risk, and only limited evidence that increasing amounts of CR exposure may cause a corresponding increase in certain cancers. Several aircrew studies show an increased risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. Breast cancer among female aircrew, measured as new illness or related death, was found to be increased in several studies. There should also be some cause for concern about the effect on babies, as AXA PPP Healthcare profiles Sweden. Frequent flyers exposed Torben Staehr, Medical Director BUPA Copenhagen, explains cosmic radiation. it is known that infants are very sensitive to radiation and its effects. Guidelines concerning dose limits for occupational exposure have been established. However, for the general public, exposure limits concerning cosmic radiation as well as other natural radiation sources have not been set. The dose limit set by the International Committee on Radiological Protection (ICRP) of 1mSV per year established for artificial exposures can serve as orientation. This would be the equivalent to about 200 hours' flying per year on subsonic trans-equatorial routes. Some frequent flyers may, under certain conditions, reach or exceed the limit set for cabin crew but there is currently no intent to monitor the exposure of frequent flyers.