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Expat Healthcare in Singapore

If you’re looking for information on healthcare in Singapore you’ve come to the right place.

Travellers and expats alike can look forward to exceptional levels of care while in Singapore, though this can be far from cheap.

The purpose of this article is to discuss healthcare for expats and travellers visiting Singapore, in order to ensure the best levels of care possible at the most competitive rates.

Please read on or select your preferred topic from the table of contents >>

Introduction to the Singapore Healthcare System

The system put in place by the Singaporean government is designed to offer affordable healthcare for all, while promoting individual responsibility.

This is primarily financed through the Central Provident Fund, membership of which is obligatory for native citizens in Singapore.

Funding comes from the so-called “3M” framework:

  • Medisave

    Medisave is equivalent to the British National Insurance contribution system. All native employees are obliged to pay into their own personal Medisave account, the funds from which can be used to pay for medical care.

    However there are some key differences between Medisave and the UK system.

    For one, treatments are limited to pre-approved procedures and facilities.

    Secondly funds are drawn directly for each treatment, meaning that limitations on medical care will depend on the overall balance of an individual’s contributions.

    Thirdly, individuals can only use make use of a specific portion of their contributed funds, with the difference being funded either by third-party health insurance or from the individual’s private funds.

    Lastly, it is interesting to note that contributions to Medisave vary by age; younger workers are expected to contribute a higher percentage of their income than more mature workers.

  • Medishield

    A second rung of the “3M” system comes in the form of Medishield. This can be considered a government-backed national health insurance scheme. While not obligatory, Medishield can help to cover medical costs that breach the limitations of Medisave.

    According to the government of Singapore it is designed to provide “catastrophic illness” cover for longer-term or more serious illness, and all employees are enrolled as standard (though can opt out).

  • Medishield Plus

    Essentially a “premium” version of Medishield, this coverage offers higher financial assistance in the case of illness – in exchange for higher premiums.

Healthcare for Expats in Singapore

Expats in Singapore will fall into one of two different groups. The minority of expats will have been granted Resident Status, though the vast majority will not. This residential status affects the systems which you may utilize for healthcare, as well as the costs involved.

Broadly speaking while native Singaporeans receive a subsidy of up to 70% subsidy on medical care, permanent residents may only receive a 20% discount at best. Most expats, lacking resident status, receive no subsidy at all and so will need to pay full price for all treatments received.

To give an example of the costs involved with even basic medical care, consider these basic consultation fees from the National Healthcare Group:

Singapore Citizen

$31.99

Singapore Permanent Residents

$40.55

Non-Residents

$60.88

Furthermore, non-permanent residents are not required to sign up for the state-backed CPF system, meaning that health insurance will not be provided to you as standard. Instead, individuals will be expected to shoulder the full financial consequences of any medical care required during their stay.

For this reason expats should consider expat health insurance a necessity for their time on the island. There are two ways this may be sourced:

Employer Provided

Some expat employers have health insurance policies for all their staff. Expats should enquire about such policies, and carefully analyse the features that the employer-provided policy offers.

Personally Provided

The alternative, where one’s employer does not offer health insurance or where the features are limited, is to invest in your own expat healthcare policy. To learn more about how we can help please click here.

Prescriptions in Singapore

It is important to note that Singapore does not accept prescriptions from other countries. Visitors requiring prescription medications should aim to bring both their prescription and treatments with them. On arrival you should seek a local doctor who will be able to prescribe the required drugs, or offer alternatives if these are not currently available.

Vaccinations for Singapore

The vaccinations required for Singapore are minimal, based on current UK government advice.

The following vaccinations are considered essential:

  • MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella)
  • Diptheria
  • Tetanus
  • Polio

In some situations the following vaccinations may be advisable:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Rabies
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • TB

Expats and travellers alike are advised to check with your local doctor to ensure the most accurate advice on vaccinations for Singapore.

Healthcare Facilities in Singapore

Singapore’s healthcare system offers a diverse range of treatment facilities. Roughly 20% of primary healthcare facilities are provided by the government while the remainder are private institutions. Even government-run hospitals and clinics may offer a mixture of subsidized and paid treatments.

It is important for expats to gain an understanding of the different medical facilities to be found in Singapore. The most popular classifications are:

General Hospitals

General hospitals offer a broad range of services from emergency care to osteopathy and paediatric departments.

Sadly, expats and travellers without resident status will receive very little in the way of subsidized care so considerable funds may be required for treatment. For this reason expatriate health insurance is strongly advised to cover the premium prices charged in Singapore.

Private Hospitals

Private hospitals, as the name suggests, offer no subsidized care. They typically offers the highest levels of care and the shortest waiting lists for surgery and other procedures. That said, such care comes at a cost; the possession of an expatriate healthcare policy facilitates treatment in such establishments.

Community Hospitals

Community hospitals are designed for the less-wealthy. They are frequently funded at least in part by donations from wealthy patrons and may use volunteer staff to make up their numbers. Due to the lower treatment costs waiting times can be considerable.

Polyclinics

Best thought of as a “super doctor’s surgery” polyclinics typically house a wide range of GPs under one roof. While not offering the 24 hour care of hospitals, polyclinics can be useful for everyday medical concerns. With a number of doctors in one building, each with their own specialisms, one can often find

In addition, numerous small doctor’s surgeries and clinics can be found in most residential areas.

List of Healthcare Facilities in Singapore

For expats travelling to Singapore the following list provides an extensive over-view of the medical facilities to be found. The list is sortable, allowing you to find the right medical facility for your needs:

Hospital NameAddressTel NoType
Adam Road Medical Centre559 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269695+65 6466 7777Private Hospital
Alexandra Hospital378 Alexandra Road, Singapore 159964+65 6472 2000General Hospital & Community Hospital
Ang Mo Kio Community Hospital17 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9, Singapore 569766+65 6453 8033Community Hospital
Ang Mo Kio PolyclinicBlk 723 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, Singapore 560723+65 6355 3000Polyclinic
Bedok PolyclinicBlock 212 Bedok North Street 1, Singapore 460212+65 6243 6740Polyclinic
Bright Vision Hospital5 Lorong Napiri, Singapore 547530+65 6248 5757Community Hospital
Bukit Batok Polyclinic50 Bukit Batok West Avenue 3, Singapore 659164+65 6355 3000Polyclinic
Bukit Merah PolyclinicBlock 163 Bukit Merah Central, Singapore 150153+65 6271 3911Polyclinic
Camden Medical Centre1 Orchard Boulevard, Singapore 248649+65 6887 3210Private Hospital
Changi General Hospital2 Simei Street 3, Singapore 529889+65 6788 8833General Hospital
Choa Chu Kang Polyclinic2 Teck Whye Crescent, Singapore 688846+65 6355 3000Polyclinic
Clementi PolyclinicBlk 451 Clementi Avenue 3, Singapore 120451+65 6355 3000Polyclinic
Geylang Polyclinic21 Greylang East Central, Singapore 389707+65 6842 2440Polyclinic
Gleneagles Hospital6A Napier Road, Singapore 258500+65 6575 7575General Hospital
HMI Balestier Hospital363 Balestier Road, Singapore 329784+65 6253 3818Private Hospital
Hougang Polyclinic89 Hougang Avenue 4, Singapore 538829+65 6355 3000Polyclinic
Johns Hopkins Singapore Medical Centre11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433+65 6251 1831General Hospital & Private Hospital
Jurong Polyclinic190 Jurong East Avenue 1, Singapore 609788+65 6355 3000Polyclinic
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital90 Yishun Central, Singapore 768828+65 6555 8000General Hospital
KK Women's & Children's Hospital100 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 229899+65 6293 4044General Hospital
Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital705 Serangoon Road, Singapore 328127+65 6299 3747Private Hospital
Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital705 Serangoon Road, Singapore 328127+65 6299 3747Community Hospital
Mount Alvernia Hospital820 Thomson Road, Singapore 574623+65 6347 6688Private Hospital
Mount Elizabeth Hospital3 Mount Elizabeth Road, Singapore 228510+65 6737 2666Private Hospital
National Cancer Centre Singapore11 Hospital Drive, Singapore 169610+65 6436 8000Specialist
National Dental Centre5 Second Hospital Avenue, Singapore 168938+65 6324 8910Specialist
National Heart Centre Singapore5 Hospital Drive, Singapore 169609+65 6704 8000Specialist
National Neuroscience Institute11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng ,Singapore 308433+65 6357 7153Speciliast
National Skin Centre1 Mandalay Road, Singapore 308205+65 6253 4455Specialist
National University Hospital5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119074+65 6779 5555General Hospital
Outram PolyclinicNo 3 Second Hospital Avenue, Singapore 168937+65 6435 3980Polyclinic
Parkway East Hospital321 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427990+65 6344 7588Private Hospital
Pasir Ris Polyclinic1 Pasir Ris Drive, Singapore 519457+65 6585 5390Polyclinic
Queenstown Polyclinic580 Stirling Road, Singapore 148958+65 6471 9530Polyclinic
Raffles Hospital585 North Bridge Road Singapore 188770+65 6311 1111Private Hospital
Ren Ci Hospital71 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore 329562+65 6385 0777Community Hospital
Sengkang Polyclinic2 Sengkang Square, Singapore 545025+65 6315 3500Polyclinic
Singapore General HospitalOutram Road, Singapore 169608+65 6222 3322General Hospital
Singapore National Eye Centre11 Third Hospital Avenue, Singapore 168751+65 6227 7255Specialist
St Andrew's Community Hospital8 Simei Street 3, Singapore 529895+65 6586 1000Community Hospital
St Luke's Hospital 2 Bukit Batok Street 11, Singapore 659674+65 6563 2281Community Hospital
Tampines Polyclinic1 Tampines Street 41, Singapore 529203+65 6786 4070Polyclinic
Tan Tock Seng Hospital11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433+65 6256 6011General Hospital
Thomson Medical Centre339 Thomson Road, Singapore 307677+65 6250 2222Private Hospital
Toa Payoh Polyclinic2003 Toa Payoh Lor 8, Singapore 319260+65 6355 3000Polyclinic
Woodlands Polyclinic10 Woodlands Street 31, Singapore 738579+65 6355 3000Polyclinic
Yishun Polyclinic30A Yishun Central 1, Singapore 768796+65 6355 3000Polyclinic

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