Increasing numbers of people are relocating overseas, and we all know what a headache this can get to be. Moving countries means packing up your entire household, sorting out pets, meeting the requirements of your chosen place of residence, choosing moving companies, and huge amounts of paperwork, all while preparing yourself to leave behind your connections and things that you’re familiar with.
Of course, this can all take a toll on mental and physical health, and with the current COVID-19 pandemic still a hugely prevalent issue, it’s more important than ever to stay safe and vigilant, as well as keep in mind the health requirements that might be necessary for entry into foreign countries. We’re here to take away some of the headache around planning for relocation, and the healthcare specialists at Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong tell us about health screening checks.
This should go without saying, but without a valid visa in place, you won’t be able to enter your chosen place of residence! Visas also take time to sort out and get approved, so do your research early with the relevant embassies and start the application process as soon as possible, factoring in some time for possible hiccups.
Of course, renting is easier to sort out in the short-term, but bear in mind that property is generally a good investment which affords you more security in the long-term. Some countries, such as Greece and Spain, will also fast-track permanent resident status for people who relocate and purchase property, so look up residency visa programmes for separate countries.
Assuming you’re already a homeowner, there’s also the added concern of what to do with the property you’ll be vacating. Will you be renting it out or selling the place outright? In Hong Kong, there’s always going to be a market for rentals, but are you going to be able to manage the property from abroad? If you’ll be making trips back to the city every so often, this could be viable, or you could also engage the services of companies who specialise in property management.
Even if you leave the city, you may still be liable for tax on your income and potential gains made from the disposal of assets. Find out if you will need to complete tax returns as an eventual non-resident, and how to go about doing so. It’s important to notify the tax authorities that you will be leaving, otherwise you might find yourself paying taxes which, as an expat, you should be exempt from.
Remember also that each country has its own tax rules that you might be unfamiliar with, so it might be a good idea to get advice from a local financial adviser in your new country of residence who understands your requirements, and can make sure you don’t get on the wrong side of local laws.
Find out what banks are available in your chosen place of residence, and see if you can open an account from abroad before you arrive. Some banks will at least allow you to get the process kick-started remotely, which might save you some hassle. Depending on how many assets you’ll still be holding in Hong Kong, how good is your new bank with handling international money transfers? For instance, some banks are available in a range of countries, and can handle transfers from international accounts easily because they are all under the same organisation.
Make a list of the utility bills you’re paying monthly, such as water, gas, electricity, phone line, internet, and mobile plans. These are all services that you will need to terminate before you leave. Most of them require a month’s notice, but do check with each provider to be absolutely sure. You don’t want to be charged for more than what you’ll be using, or have to sort out cancellations from abroad.
Of course, with regulations set up to prevent the spread of coronavirus worldwide, health screening processes might differ vastly according to your destination, so make sure you do ample research well ahead of time, and keep an eye out for any changes.
Will you just need to sign a health declaration form upon arrival, or will all travellers be taken aside to undergo a stringent, mandatory COVID-19 test? Will you need to do a 14-day quarantine period, and are there specific places set aside for new arrivals to your chosen destination, or can you do this in your new home? The last thing you want is for there to be unexpected circumstances cropping up that could at worst deny you and your family entry to your new resident country!
Regardless of the measures set in place at your destination, it’s a good idea to get yourself checked before leaving Hong Kong. Aside from having peace of mind about the state of your body, you will also be able to produce certification for a clean bill of health, should you be questioned about it.
Bear in mind that some countries will also require travellers to be vaccinated against certain diseases before arrival, so cover your bases well, and bring your whole family to a trusted health practitioner to be screened ahead of time. ‘Better safe than sorry’ is the mantra to remind yourself of in this instance!
Managed by the fantastic Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong, the Gleneagles Medical Clinic Central, Hong Kong provides a range of primary healthcare services, including general and specialist outpatient consultation, health screening services, and vaccinations. Their GP services and specialities cover general surgery, cardiology, gastroenterology and hepatology, geriatric medicine, respiratory medicine, ophthalmology, behavioural health (psychiatry), orthopaedics and traumatology, and paediatrics.
Just like how people are relocating abroad, Gleneagles Medical Clinic Central, Hong Kong are moving to a brand new, expanded location in the heart of Central, with added medical specialities and services, and a more spacious environment throughout. To celebrate this relocation, the clinic is offering special rates on health screening and vaccination packages for a limited time!
Until 31 December 2020, the following packages will be offered at a 20 percent discount, and includes a medical consultation as well as report analysis.
This is a basic examination which includes blood analysis, blood lipid, liver and kidney function, routine examinations of glucose, gout, urine, and more. Originally priced at $749, this package will now be available for $599.
Aside from the services mentioned in the Basic package, this choice includes a more comprehensive examination of the thyroid function, bone metabolism, as well as three types of cancer markers. Originally priced at $999, this package will now be available for $799.
In addition, the Flu Vaccine Package has been discounted from $380 to $250, and the 9-in-1 HPV Vaccination Package has been discounted from $7,000 to $3,500. Both of these include a doctor’s consultation with the vaccination fee.
In all honesty, whether or not you’re relocating abroad at all, regular health checkups are absolutely vital for discovering latent or potential health problems at the early stages, which means you can then move on to prevention or receiving timely treatment. Contact Gleneagles Medical Clinic Central, Hong Kong to gain peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones now.