Living abroad

For patients living with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) it pays to know the terrain when planning a move abroad.

Many people in the UK choose to live abroad, often in France, Spain or Greece.  If you are living on the continent, you will often need to plan ahead for your medical care.

Know the turf

If you are considering moving or living abroad and have an MPN, it’s advisable to do some advance research about health care costs in your planned location. It may be easy or difficult to obtain care in other countries, and you may be required to pay for your care.

If you currently live in the UK and you wish or need to return to the UK later, it is also important to check how living abroad for a time may affect your eligibility for NHS care. Citizens Advice is a good starting place for this type of enquiry.

Legal status

You may need to obtain a local residency card or other permit to allow you to reside abroad indefinitely. In France you will sometimes need a “carte de sejour” or long-stay card.  Check with your local police department for exact information by country.


In some countries, in particular in the United States and sometimes in France, you will need to purchase medical insurance.  In the United States private insurance is essential and can be extremely expensive, and insurance does not cover 100% of costs incurred.  In France you may need insurance to complement state-sponsored care.  Medical insurance can be even more costly if you are older or have an existing health problem, so it is important to investigate costs and requirements before moving abroad.

Reimbursements for medical care

The NHS provides reimbursement for short-term care abroad.  If you reside abroad permanently you will need to enroll in a local scheme.