BRITISH expats who moved to Spain for a happier life are returning in droves, with nearly 90,000 abandoning their new Spanish life last year according to national statistics.

The number of Brits registered with town halls dropped a steep 23% in 2013, plummeting from 385,179 on Jan 1 to 297,229 at the end of December.

Research has also revealed that those who choose to move to sunnier climes end up less happy than those who stay in Britain.

Dr David Bartram, from Leicester University, has discovered that 329 migrants registered an average happiness rating of 7.3/10, compared with an average of 7.5/10 for the 56,000 people surveyed still in their homes countries.

Should Gibraltar form an independent republic with La Linea?

He surveyed people who had moved from northern European countries to Spain, Portugal, Greece or Cyprus.

Possible reasons for this decline in happiness are an inability to fit in with a new culture, language and society, while leaving family, friends and homes behind. The economic crisis, shrinking job market and unemployment rates have undoubtedly played a part too.

Other European expats are also giving up on Spain, with the registered German and French populations falling by 23.6% and 12.7% respectively.

This mass exodus of immigrants saw the total population of Spain fall for the second year running, this time from 47,129,783 to 46,725,164.


  1. Most satisying to see Jane obliterating Derek’s argument in a paragraph. Fact is, there is no right or wrong way for an ex-pat to live in Spain. Ironically, your enemy in Spain is far more likely to be a Brit like Derek with an ego issue about how he is a “better Brit” than someone else. Of course, even having that opinion shows that he is actually inferior, not superior. Bizarrely, Derek once asked on here if people shouted at me in the street, and then just yerterday he admitted that it was actually himself that got shouted at in the street in the UK, and no wonder he attracs that sort of abuse with the attitude he has.

  2. I agree with Derek when he says Spain is a friendly place to live. If I said “hola” to a stranger in UK I would more likely get my jaw broken. In Spain I get Hola back and often, in our peublo, a chat. When I took ill it wasn’t just the Brits that were caring but the Spanish as well. A year and a half later both sides are asking after me. Both sides brought food to our door to relieve some of the pressure on my wife. It was Spaniards that hugged us both when I came out of hospital.

  3. @Steve Are you generalising about the UK when you say you’d more likely get your jaw broken there if you said ‘hola’ to a stranger? How about saying ‘hello’ in the UK which we do where we live, although often complete strangers say it first (coastal southern UK), no jaw breaking here! Say ‘hola’ if you want to to where it’s understood, in Spain.

    All countries have their trouble spots, Spain is no exception!

  4. OK, I would use Hello in UK, but you know what I meant. But I have lived in the south east of England, south coast of England, east, central and west Scotland and feel more uncomfortable approaching strangers there than I do in Spain.

  5. @Steve, feeling uncomfortable approaching strangers is not the same as telling everyone in the UK you ‘would more likely get your jaw broken’, that was OTT.

    We say hello quite comfortably in the UK when necessary and we say hola similarly in Spain which we visit regularly. In both countries we notice it is said more often when people are in smaller towns/villages or enjoying strolls along beaches or just relaxing somewhere.

  6. A give
    When I lived in the UK, in summer I would go out walking on my own, through the woods and country lanes. If I ever met any women walking on their own they would get very nervous. Few would speak or have eye contact. That is a perception that a stranger can be a danger. We teach our kids that. However, here in Spain women walking alone do not worry about seeing someone out in the country walking. The fear perception is not there. It is difficult to explain. I walk every morning in Spain and see others doing the same. It is all do do with perception.

  7. Strange experiences Steve and Derek have had. I’ve never had problems approaching people in conversation anywhere in the UK, or indeed elsewere. I think the issue must be with the person themselves. As Angie correctly says, in small UK villages just about everyone says hello to each other, or at least I do in my small village whenever I return to the UK.

  8. Fred – good post but I’m sure the little man will come back with more abusive posting, which of course proves your argument.

    Jane, agree with most of what you said but how many Brits living anywhere in Spain actually have Spanish TV or read Spanish newspapers – so how do you know what’s going on in the country you live in?.

    Where we live in France we eventually made friends with some Brits who live in the area. One couple have lived here for 15 years and speak not a word of French. Another couple – the man speaks enough French to get by but his wife not a word and they have been living here for 9 years. The next couple, the wife speaks no French and her husband who spends his working life, working all over the world speaks perfect French and Arabic – none of them have either French TV or radio and no French friends – how is that living in a country?

    We have a few French friends and many aquaintances, got involved with the local associations. There is one thing that is so different from Spain and the UK – politeness, it is part of the very fabric of life here.

    Steve, typically a ‘coastie’, there is nothing you can tell me about Brighton & Hove, Eastbourne, Hastings,great place if your a junkie.

    Sadly much of what you say is true, how different from when I was growing up. I believe the cancer started with Thatcher and continued with Tony the Liar (what can you expect from a lawyer).

    I hav’nt lived in any big city in Spain which I understand have become increasingly violent.

    I can only speak from personal experience but I have never had to think before I opened the door in Ortigueira/Guadix or here in the Aveyron. I have only seen one bar fight and that was Brit OAPs in Murcia.

    Whereas in 500 sq.m of my front door in Hove in just 2 years there were 4 murders and one attempted murder. It is dangerous to walk on the seafront in Brighton or Hove after dark, unless you are armed. The drunkeness of the English appalls me, what is it they are repressing that makes them like this.

    In London – do not under any circumstances make eye contact and never speak to anyone, they will think you have forgotten to take your meds – sad but true.

  9. Our place in the UK is in the London area and not in the best Borough but we never worry about walking out alone and I am happy to walk the dog on my own at midnight, walk back from the tube on my own at night and I am also happy to go to football matches on my own.

    I really can’t understand why people feel the way they do, I have never felt frightened or threatened in any way in the UK or anywhere else. My neighbours are a mixed bunch and mostly friendly and I talk to a lot of people in the area and local kids often approach me because they like our dog.

  10. Interesting article Stuart, but why move back to the UK because of age and the NHS. The Spanish health system is excellent.
    I appreciate some people go home because of uncertainty, but since living in Spain I would find it very difficult to return to the UK. We go back for holidays, but as soon as the plane lands back in Malaga I feel so much happier. The exchange rate did make a difference on our pensions, but we are still better off here than we would be in the UK.
    As for the price of property. Many of my friends have large houses here. Most bought about 12 years ago. The exchange rates were favourable for converting to the Euro from the pound. These days, houses sell for less, but the exchange rate is better converting from the euro back into pounds. That is only important to those wanting to sell and there are a few I know, but the vast majority of my friends agree with me. This is their home and they want to stay here.

  11. Most people I know who have returned home either came here in their late teens early 20’s for a few years in the sun and some fun and have now returned home to “settle down” or now have kids of their own and want the support of extended family. Others solely came on the back of the real estate boom for sales work and have moved on to other countries (not necessarily their home country)where there are further fortunes to be made. Of the older crowd, most leave because either partner misses the grandkids/friends etc…. I’ve been out here 30 years now and this is home for me. Not to say I might not move somewhere else in the future if the mood strikes!

  12. Whoever said that if you move abroad it had to be forever anyway? We came for an adventure, still having one and still enjoying it, but at no point did I ever say if would be forever! It might be, it might not…. Stop putting us in boxes “powers that be” !

  13. I have read with interst comments on here and amazing contrasts! We are impressed with Spain and have no regrets, the Spanish in our local town have had to deal with corruption and general difficulties in integration with foreign nationals…… HOWEVER over time, more and more are wanting to learn English, insist on speaking it, and will correct us if we mispronounce our spanish efforts……. We have amazing spanish friends in business and social aspects.

    Our biggest gripe has seriously been those people who have delusions of grandeur and make life utterly miserable – and yes BRITISH! I have squared up to numerous sadly who have been so rude and arrogant, and decided to stamp their feet in a geriatric playground!

    The health service is just terrific, I only had one grievance which was valencia, but he was just obnoxious to extreme…… but wow, it is a huge contrast to the uk, but also getting doctors in the uk to listen to to their patients.

    Our plan is to eventually return due to care aspect and family, but for now we are in the very best place…. watching all the changes!!

  14. as far as hospitals health service etc you cant beat it…people food etc excellant i have lived for 16 years in tenerife, not an easy life as people think have had and lost businesses and gone through all my savings to pay taxes bills etc, the law here is not really for ex pats example bought a property 12 years ago as an income and for 5 years had 800 a month from this all taxes were paid all legal, then they decide property is illegal so closed it down… stayed empty for 8 years 16.000euros later to solicitor and getting half price i paid for it leaving me in debt…this couldnt happen in uk …..its the laws etc can take years and i mean years… i have known so many people lose there homes because of the time it takes to sort problems out …but still hanging in here..but dont blame the people they have simalar problems …problem with a lot of brits come here and still want to live as if they are on holiday …get real….

  15. @Sue “i have known so many people lose there homes because of the time it takes to sort problems out”

    Not much point in having a great health service etc if you are made homeless. “Hanging on” doesn’t sound like a good quality of life either.

  16. Better alive with a great health service and homeless than dead from a crappy one. I speak from experience as far as health is concerned. Health care in Spain saved my life whereas the waiting lists in UK would have been too long to do any good!

  17. Steve, you can’t access the great health service you speak about if you don’t have an income, and most homeless people don’t have an income. The doctors and nurses in the NHS must be so happy for you to describe them as crappy.

  18. Fred. Unfortunately the NHS in the UK is more than just the doctors and nurses. My wife is an ex-nurse and both my daughters are nurses, They all say it is crappy because of, not the care, but the bureaucracy and management that cause the waiting lists and government that causes some treatments not to be available. Through my family and friendsI know many nurses and doctors and they all say the same. More than just family have said how lucky I am to be in Spain for my treatment. I said I speak from experience. The technique used in my op in Spain was only approved for use in UK last year, it is expensive, but was used for me in Spain a year before.

  19. Steve, thanks for clarifying what is was that you actually meant, and I’m pleased you got great treatment. I think you’ll find that good/bad experiences can be found in all health services across the world. If you read the Spanish press there have been some truly appalling cases of bad treatment recently. The UK is a small country with a growing immigration problem and a universal health service that treats all. Spain is very different in that respect and it is significantly harder to be eligible for treatment if you are of working age.

  20. Don’t worry Steve, Fred’s an insensitive pompous pseudo know-it-all!

    Quite a few people I know have been saved by the quicker Spanish healthcare system. This is also backed up by one uk doctor who said they wouldn’t be alive with differing poorer longer treatment the uk would have offered them.

  21. Derek, a few isolated cases of good treatment don’t equate to a perfect Spanish health service. There are good and bad experiences in equal measure. As Reap correctly says, a self-employed working person who doesn’t pay their enormous autonomo bill each month (which coincidentally has to be paid even if they don’t work) has no long-term eligibility for healthcare in Spain. So many people I know have fallen into this trap.

  22. Excellent NHS system in S.E. England, needed a non urgent op under a general anaesthetic, was able to do ‘choose and book’ to Benenden Private Hospital in Kent, waited only 3 weeks, op at 9.30am back to private room looked after by lovely nurses, left hospital 3pm. So, private treatment all on the NHS, would have cost several £1000’s, it’s not so bad in parts of Blighty. Our local GP practice is also excellent, pensioners also don’t pay for prescription.

    Friends of ours near Alhaurin have to pay to visit private GP to avoid lengthy queues, then pay for their prescriptions.

    Is Spain’s healthcare really better, would this have been available in Spain? Only asking!

  23. Angie. Does that not sum up the failing of the NHS in UK. It is having to pay a lot of money to the private sector to bail it out because it can’t cope! Money that would be better spent improving its own facilities and services.

  24. It depends how you view things Steve, for us we have an excellent GP practice and the ‘choose and book’ system which suits us.

    Yes it probably is paying a lot to the private sector but at least it’s by far better that this is in place than not. The NHS is creaking and groaning but don’t forget huge numbers of foreigners and immigrants (I don’t mean that in a derogatory way)are also using the NHS, Health Tourism apparently is a problem.

    The thing is, most countries don’t even have anything like an NHS, it is free for Nationals, many Brits who live abroad still like to go back for certain medical treatments if they ‘retain’ (albeit illegally) an address in the UK.

  25. Steve: It’s the obsessive quest for privatisation, driven by the current Tory administration in the U.K. that creates the problems in the N.H.S. There would be NO private sector without the tax-payer funded education system churning out health workers who then defect to the profit-driven private health “industry”. In other words-again-the tax-payer subsidises private profit. As in the railways, water, nuclear power, banks. The list goes drearily on.
    As for “health tourism” and immigration? A red herring, smoke and mirrors. Take the lot back into public ownership and plow those profits back into public services, not into shareholders pockets.

  26. Ah the old ‘red herrings and smoke and mirrors’ masquerading as truth, lol, Yes the NHS should be taken back into public ownership but pigs will fly first.

    Like most people I wouldn’t believe a word that comes out of Spain’s Government and if the same was true for the UK Government then we shouldn’t believe their 1st comprehensive report that the true cost of ‘health tourism to the UK using the NHS is up to £2 Billion a year, some 100 times more than thought’ of which the Government is thinking of ways to claw back £500 million of it per year. A trifling amount.

    Apparently and just one example, many pregnant women arrive in the UK late on in their pregnancies, wonder why?

  27. stefanjo,

    Why should the taxpayer train people for the private sector, why not make any trainee nurses/doctors sign a contract to work within the NHS for a minimum of 15 years. Or they can go to the US and pay to be trained, leaving with a debt of $150-200,000.

    There would not a be private sector without this parasites feeding off poor Joe Muggins.

    Simple to stop this health tourism – anyone entering an NHS facility must produce proof of residence. Here in France you apply for a Carte Vitale which must be produced immediately – problem solved.

  28. What’s the health service like in France Stuart? “Where we live in France” – You mention violence in the UK, but outside the nightlife areas it isn’t so noticeable. You also mention cities in Spain getting more violent, but I understand this is not the case – like the UK, crime figures are actually falling. Be nice to have some informed facts on these issues.

  29. Stefanjo. I just take you up on your point about nurses defecting to the private sector. I know several nurses that qualified as nurses but thrn found the NHS had no jobs for them. They didn’t defect to the private sector, they had no choice if they wanted to work.

  30. I have seen many such comments on French web sites and where we lave lived (France that is not the web site) for over fifteen years. Last year we dipped our toe in Spain and returned in November 2013 in that we were trussed up like a Turkey at Christmas to the UK and then back to France.

    FWW I still say that some integration and an attempt to learn Spanish is better than none at all but with advancing age it is difficult. That said having spent some six months on a Spanish Course that being latin based there are some similarities with French and which I speak not fluently but almost.

    We have experience of health issues in the UK France and Spain and would say without hesitation that France is ahead of the game and puts lots into preventative care. But of course France perhaps much like Spain is under the cosh with Hollande and it is very difficult and the cost of living huge.

    Again my experience in France is based upon integration and its successes for us. Living in a small village not far from La Rochelle there are only three English speaking people so just had to be the case.

    Then a contrary view of Javea and where English is widely spoken so is there a need or indeed desire to speak Spanish.

    We are coming back to Spain in September to have ‘another go’ but this time with the experiences of 2013 very much up-most in our minds.

    However we would not sell our investments in either France or the UK for we need bolt holes if things go wrong. Please do not read anything more into this other than the investments are somewhat small but are sufficient for our current needs.

    Just to get % into line there are over 400,000 French people in London alone more than the total Brit in France. They are leaving their homeland due to taxes.

    We all can exercise our right to move from country to country and if someone decides to return to the UK it is a personal matter. Some would never return to the UK others would so it is a matter of choice. Thus a number of people holding differing views of the same series of events. Neither are right neither are wrong.

  31. If “defects to” seems too emotive Steve, then substitute “diverted to” instead. The effects are the same. Cuts in NHS jobs in order to prop up the private sector, leading to the erosion of the Health Service. The downward spiral continues apace. Remember when basic dental care, eye care, hearing aids and prescriptions were all free? Bit by bit, the thugs carry on their stealthy muggings.

  32. This latest posting is of considerable interest in that let us say I have some relationship with the law and indeed medical negligence.

    I cannot for obvious reasons disclose private and confidential information but can advise that under the Freedom of Information Act obtained some information as to the use of Agency Staff against NHS contracted staff.

    These figures relate to a major West Midlands Hospital. The budget for Agency staff was just short of £200,000 actual usage was over £3m and I kid you not!

  33. My parents lived nr Torrevieja for 20 years before they passed away. Certainly their lives were enhanced by the sunny weather and the ability to eat out and socialize two or three times a week, which they would not have been able to afford to do in the UK.

    Toward the end of their lives, my Father passing in 2008, they did find it very lonely and hot during the summer, as the area were they lived literally emptied with people going back to the UK for those months. Equally during the winter months the home did get very cold and the cost of heating was huge.

    There are good points and bad, as with everywhere. The health service worked very well for my parents.

    I have now inherited the home. My friends use it for their holidays, but I have not been out there for three years now. I would not be able to sell the property even if I wanted to. The Spanish friends our family made over those years have remained very supportive and caring. The British friends keep in touch as well. It just is not as wonderful as the majority of people would think.

  34. I read the comments with interest as I now (59) consider retiring to Spain, looking for warmer winters to ease my aching bones.

    My wife and I have now lived and worked in France for 9 years and would never (present state of mind, consider moving back to the UK)Finding work in France I found VERY difficult, I am an HGV driver and have been for more years than I wish to remember, there is very little I have not driven and have European driving experience but came across prejudice (racism if you wish) with reference to my abilities to work in France. Gladly, I found an employer willing to give me a chance and am now into my Fourth year of work with him.
    Intergration is difficult, to learn a new language from scratch, not easy. We CHOSE to live in an area where there are not many Brits, and REFUSED invites to join British groups, classes and meetings. My wife and I both speak some French, have mainly French friends and whilst still watching English Tv and radio progs also have French Tv we watch frequently to further aid our French. Us becoming “as French speakers” will NEVER happen, language is difficult and after 59 years, I find I still learn things about my mother tongue chances of mastering French is NOT a reality. What is more, our French friends have never suggested such a thing is required, simply a will to learn, adapt and respect the way of life in a country WE have chosen to live within.

    Comparing life in the UK with France and England is complex. In the UK we lived in many towns, cities and villages moving with work, each area with advantages and disadvantages. Here in France we live in a small hamlet nearest large village is Gemozac in the Charente Maritime and life is good, quite and yes, sometimes boring, I suspect that is our fault/choice and not that of France.

    Health care here as both my wife and I have sadly experienced is EXCELLENT. Appointments at doctors until 2200hrs, hospitals clean and effective, x-rays, surgery, home visits for after care EXCELLENT. BUT WAIT….. we pay into the system, pay top up health care insurance maybe this has a bearing.

    UK, France, Spain the choice is there, if you search for the negatives, they are there ALWAYS. Maybe, we choose to concentrate on the positives and therefore, as with many of you in Spain, find life more than acceptable. My patriots here in France who find life unhappy, unbearable, I respectfully suggest that you return to where you previously found greatest happiness, and there you can retell ad-nausium tales of how you didn’t have to put up with a:b:c whilst living abroad and wish you had never returned.

    It is not my intention to cause upset, we love our lives in France (not all the time and not every day)and hope that if we do decide to move to Spain, we find the Spanish as accommodating and encouraging as we have found our French friends and neighbours. We will try to learn the language and no doubt struggle and laugh along at our mistakes and errors…………….. but we WILL try.

    Where would be the places to look to retire in Spain, we enjoy life, not yet ready for bingo, I fly a microlight (flexwing) in France haveing learnt and took my tests in French and would like to continue in Spain.

    Bon courage tout le monde

  35. @Phil You seem to have an excellent approach to living abroad. As to where to live in Spain, it really does depend on what you want. I live in inland Andalusia a couple of hours from the coast. The people are friendly and helpful and I don’t know what I would have done without them when my wife passed away recently. The cost of living is lower inland a good plus as prices rise over time. I don’t know if it’s the same but we have a mountain just outside the village which is a world class launching point for hang gliders and a wonderful man made lake (reservoir) very close by. Good luck with your hunt.

  36. Inland Andalucia is great Phil. Peter is right about this environment for things like microlights. Perfect fitting locations.

    I love your outlook. Same as our friends here. Unfortunately you will hear a tirade of Spain bashers on this site though that will try and suck the life out of you and Spain.

    After many many years in Andalucia, we still love it. Totally happy to remain in the region (whilst avoiding ex-pat enclaves too ha ha)

    I’d come over and rent for a bit in a couple of areas to see.

  37. @ Robert:

    Stating that Spain is a “semi gypsy country” is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life. It would be equivalent to say “the UK is a semi-Pakistani emirate”.. typical uninformed-over prejudiced average UKIP voter bullshit..

    Same goes for an “inexistent judicial system”.. Granted it’s not the best in the World and bureaucracy is quite dry and slow (the same applies to Spaniards who suffer from that system btw), but there is a proper judicial system which is respected worldwide so just don’t talk rubbish please.

    On the Spanish vs. NHS health systems, just refer to any reputed international ranking such as:


    .. and you’ll see how high ranked is the Spanish system (even now with all the budget cuts) -which is the best one in the World for transplants for example- and how low ranked is the generally inefficient and many times outdated NHS. And I’m talking at an average national level, not with these nice exceptions to the rule found in N.E England or once in a blue moon.

    As Brits say: ignorance is bliss!

  38. First time I have read this thread. Same old mantra re. Spanish Health Service. None of you read the Spanish media? Only today there is a lengthy article that in rheumatology Dept there is over a years wait for a check up (Malaga), similar in traumatology…oh and now over 12 months for a new hip. If you read Spanish you would see these kind of reports almost weekly…perhaps best to keep your illusions an carry on reading the Daily Mail eh!

  39. Bryan, with no money left the Spanish must be cutting the health service as you suggest.
    Everything is so difficult in Spain. I give you a new example of this week. I previously took a Spanish car back to Spain that I purchased from new in Spain. In the UK I had a tow bar put on it. Anyway, the car has been sitting around in my garage over in Spain for a couple of years, got a friend to have it put on a lorry to be taken for an ITV (MOT), gets there, failed it because it has an English tow bar, has to be taken off and in Spain the tow bar has its own ‘ITV’ and has to be fitted their way, English way is no good. So, a trip to have the tow bar taken off and another €90 on the lorry to go back.
    As said a long time ago, when i purchased this car, I had an NIE number on an Alicante piece of paper, oh no, you cannot buy this car as your NIE paper has to come from Almeria province, 140 mile trip later, queuing up for a different piece of paper, same NIE number issued but with an Almeria logo on it and I was fine! It is a full time job trying to get anything done and even then you do not succeed half the time especially if it involves the local Mayor and his mates.
    Went to the local water Company 4 years ago regarding my apartment trying to get my water pipe changed from 20mm to 13mm, still waiting. Banks.. the list goes on. Much happier and wealthier in UK, no violence, live in a good area, Council tax is £2k a year, gas / electric £150 a month but then I earn a reasonable wage.. There is one comment that made me laugh on this thread and I at least agree with it 50%. Both kids at Grammar school in the UK, private tutors, in Spain my experience with my two kids at Spanish school was terrible. My kids would have gone nowhere in Spain especially as I would not have earnt any real money for tutors and the Mayor just stopped us from doing the things we wanted to do. OK for a retiree, that is it and even then the Country will drive anyone with any get up and go mad.

  40. my family moved to Spain in 2006 and I was 11 at the time, we eventually came back to the UK after four years for various reasons. mainly:
    my brother and I receiving constant bullying, racism and discrimination at school and around town
    there was no future there for my elder brother and sister who if we had been in england still, would be getting jobs and going to uni etc. All they could do was either bar work or building work.
    day to day life was suprisingly more difficult without everything you are used to having in the UK. for example, want a cup of tea in the morning? good luck finding a shop that sells tea bags. that sort of thing.
    and lastly the thing that pushed us to finally move home was my dad was made redundant. he had been working for the same company for over 20 years and when we moved to spain he was working from the house on the computer, but due to the economic climate etc he was let go, and there was no chance of him finding another job in spain.
    everyone in my family loved living in spain except me and my brother. I did love everything that my family loved it was just that I had to go to school there which was the worst experience of my life and 4 years later it still haunts me, and has completely changed me as a person.
    I can only hope that any familys with school-age children who are thinking of moving to spain and putting them in an all spanish school do their research and maybe even go to the school before hand or have a few taster days or something because just plonking a child into a spanish school with no one who speaks english is just cruel. I had to move school twice in four years and i doubt anyone wants that.

  41. Yet another story about the crumbling health service in Málaga today. There will be less consultations and more operating theatres will be closed. also an increase in hospital contracted infections. Of course you don’t see these reports in the Daily Fail!

  42. Both countries have problems. Fortunately, haven’t had much experience of Hospitals but I have heard bad stories from our expat neighbours and read the news. Many think Carlos Haya is anti-foreigner. Better the devil you know at times.
    In the UK there is the 2 week rule if cancer is suspected where they have tests and see a consultant. A friend in Spain waited 6 weeks after peeing blood!

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