No country for old men?

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Editor,

Here in the UK last night on Channel 4 TV News, there was a feature on the growing number of UK and European old men moving to Pattaya as retirees; nothing wrong with that as long as they can afford to live there, and the Thai authorities don’t mind having them there.

The problem is that a lot of them can’t afford to live there properly. These old people have already run up unpaid medical bills of around 16 million baht, and some are actually homeless.

I understand that the only legal way to get a retirement visa in Thailand is to be able to show Thai immigration that you’ve had 800,000 THB in a Thai bank account for at least 3 months prior to applying for one. This so you won’t become a burden on the country. It should also be mandatory that you can show that you have adequate medical insurance as well.

The British Consul and Pattaya City Hall need to get to grips with this problem and nip it in the bud. UK expats can claim their state retirement pension out there, which is quite a generous one when converted to THB equivalent, so they’ve no need to cry poverty. Those that are found to be there illegally should be deported back to the UK to get their legal affairs sorted out. I wouldn’t dream of dumping myself in someone else’s country and expect them to take care of me because of my own stupidity. Kick them out!

Philip Fletcher