Singapore’s healthcare system has gained an international reputation for impeccable standards, with state-of-the-art medical facilities.
It is also readily accessible and affordable, thanks to a well-planned and integrated healthcare structure. More than 400,000 people come to Singapore each year for medical treatment.
Outpatient Medical Services
Outpatient medical services can be sought at private clinics. In Singapore, you can find a General Practitioner (GP) in practically every neighbourhood. In fact, there is often more than one clinic within a neighbourhood. Anyone can walk into these private clinics, although you may wish to call first for an appointment to cut down on waiting time.
The operating hours of these private clinics vary, but most of them operate from 9am to 5pm on weekdays, 9am to 1pm on Saturdays, and are closed on Sundays and public holidays. There are also 24-hour clinics.
Consultation charges at a GP range from SGD 18 to SGD 55 per visit, excluding medication. Some GPs make house calls for emergencies. Government polyclinics also offer outpatient services at affordable rates.
Click here for a list of clinics in Singapore.
Public Hospitals in Singapore
There are seven public hospitals in Singapore comprising five general hospitals, a women’s and children’s hospital and a psychiatric hospital.
Six national specialty centres provide specialist services for cancer, cardiac, eye, skin, neuroscience and dental care.
There are also community hospitals for intermediate healthcare for the convalescent sick and aged who do not require the care of the general hospitals.
For medical emergencies, you may head straight for a hospital’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit. Usually, some form of identification and a doctor’s referral letter (if any) will be requested for.
At public hospitals, non Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents may only stay in A (with 1 or 2 beds per room) and B1 (4 beds) wards. The charges in these wards are not subsidised and charges for Class A wards are SGD 200 per day onwards. There are no restrictions for private hospitals which charge from SGD 310 per day for a single room. These charges exclude treatment and other fees.
Charges in Singapore’s public hospitals are as transparent as it gets. The Ministry of Health provides a list of complete charges including doctors’ fees for a comprehensive range of procedures at public hospitals here.
Private Hospitals in Singapore
The private hospitals in Singapore include Camden Medical Centre, East Shore Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital, Mount Alvernia Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Raffles Hospital, Thomson Medical Centre. Most private hospitals offer executive or VIP suites. Some also offer premium medical services, such as Gleneagles Hospital’s elite health screening and the International Patients Centre at Raffles Hospital. Camden Medical Centre, which is also centrally located, houses some 59 specialist clinics and the latest suite of supporting medical facilities and services.
Click here for a full list of hospitals in Singapore.
Other Medical Services
There are also many specialist clinics in Singapore offering services in dentistry and optometry.
Insurance policies that have been bought in your previous country of residence may still be valid in Singapore, a check with the insurance company will confirm if they can service your policy here, to cover your critical illness or hospitalisation bills in Singapore. Many employers in Singapore cover their employees’ medical expenses in part or in full.
Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents are required to maintain a Medisave account as part of their Central Provident Fund (CPF), which is contributed from their wages and by their employers. Medisave is a national medical savings scheme which helps individuals put aside part of their income into their Medisave Accounts to meet their future personal or immediate family's hospitalisation, day surgery and certain outpatient expenses. It can also be drawn out to pay part of hospitalisation bills as well as outpatient treatments for four chronic diseases, namely diabetes, high blood pressure, lipid disorder and stroke. CPF members can also choose to be covered under MediShield which is a basic, low-cost medical insurance scheme run by the CPF Board.
You may also consider buying private health insurance if you are not covered under Medisave or your company’s group health insurance. These can be basic, covering only inpatient hospital stays, or comprehensive services including inpatient and outpatient care, lab tests, x-rays and other medical services. There are many reputable insurance agencies in Singapore which offer attractive premium rates and coverage. Do shop around to find a policy that suits your lifestyle and needs.
All children in Singapore need to be immunised against a list of diseases, namely diphtheria, Hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), poliomyelitis, rubella, tetanus and tuberculosis. Health authorities will ensure that all required immunisation has been carried out before the child is allowed to register for Primary 1 in Singapore schools.
Children may receive their vaccinations at any General Practitioner’s clinic or government polyclinic. The child’s Health Booklet is needed for record purposes. Each child born in Singapore is issued with a Health Booklet. If your child does not have one, you may purchase one from the Health Promotion Board or any polyclinic.
For information on the immunisation schedule, click here.