I read Life in Chiang Mai by Colin Jarvis with great
interest as I am a 67 year old retired guy living in CM for 2 years, ever
since I retired, in fact.
I love it here and when I went back to UK to re-visit
relatives and sort out some business issues in August last year I could not
wait to get back to CM. In fact after a few days I was homesick, making me
realise CM is now my home.
Your article was, therefore, very pertinent. I am a gay
man living with a delectable young Thai guy and I generally enjoy good
health, with lots of Thai and farang gay friends to associate with, which
helps to keep me mentally and physically healthy. The thought of having to
leave all this behind because of ill health is almost unbearable. But as
your article illustrates, this can and does happen.
Your suggestion regarding setting up a suitable nursing
home is excellent but I fear the possibility of UK and/or European
governments contributing to the costs are fairly minimal. I say this
particularly with regards to the UK, where that government recently defeated
an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights by aggrieved pensioners
world wide who do not receive inflation increases in their pensions, where
the country in which they reside does not have a ‘reciprical agreement’ with
the UK. This includes Thailand.
The judgement in favour of the UK government seemed to be
based on very tight legal technicality rather than anything to do with human
rights! If the UK won’t give its pensioners a fair deal, what hope is there
that they will help support them when in real need?
The arguments put forward by the appellants mentioning
that there is actually a huge net savings to the UK because we live abroad,
as we are no longer a ‘burden’ on their health services, social security
benefits, local government concessions such as free travel, meals on wheels,
etc, etc seems to be totally ignored.
Having said that, I know a retired, elderly Dutch couple
who tell me that their government does extend their state health care to
include their medical costs here in Thailand. They have both recently
contracted Dengue Fever and their medical costs at the Ram hospital will be
covered under their national health service. So perhaps other European
governments do the same and typically the UK treats its elderly people with
a degree of contempt, despite having paid some of the highest taxes in the
world for all their working lives.
In conclusion: a great idea that should be pursued via
the European Commission and Parliament, so that if a majority of European
countries supported it the UK might be shamed in doing the same and maybe
even agree to unfreeze our pensions!
Yours in hope and with my full support,