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.
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:
- MedisaveMedisave 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.
- MedishieldA 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 illnesses, and all employees are enrolled as standard (though can opt-out).
- Medishield PlusEssentially 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 Permanent Residents
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 them 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:
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.
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)
In some situations the following vaccinations may be advisable:
- Hepatitis B
- Japanese Encephalitis
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 offer a broad range of services from emergency care to osteopathy and pediatric 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, international health insurance is strongly advised to cover the premium prices charged in Singapore.
Private hospitals, as the name suggests, offer no subsidized care. They typically offer 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 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.
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 overview of the medical facilities to be found. The list is sortable, allowing you to find the right medical facility for your needs:Search:
|Hospital Name||Address||Tel No||Type|
|Adam Road Medical Centre||559 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269695||+65 6466 7777||Private Hospital|
|Alexandra Hospital||378 Alexandra Road, Singapore 159964||+65 6472 2000||General Hospital & Community Hospital|
|Ang Mo Kio Community Hospital||17 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9, Singapore 569766||+65 6453 8033||Community Hospital|
|Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic||Blk 723 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, Singapore 560723||+65 6355 3000||Polyclinic|
|Bedok Polyclinic||Block 212 Bedok North Street 1, Singapore 460212||+65 6243 6740||Polyclinic|
|Bright Vision Hospital||5 Lorong Napiri, Singapore 547530||+65 6248 5757||Community Hospital|
|Bukit Batok Polyclinic||50 Bukit Batok West Avenue 3, Singapore 659164||+65 6355 3000||Polyclinic|
|Bukit Merah Polyclinic||Block 163 Bukit Merah Central, Singapore 150153||+65 6271 3911||Polyclinic|
|Camden Medical Centre||1 Orchard Boulevard, Singapore 248649||+65 6887 3210||Private Hospital|
|Changi General Hospital||2 Simei Street 3, Singapore 529889||+65 6788 8833||General Hospital|
|Choa Chu Kang Polyclinic||2 Teck Whye Crescent, Singapore 688846||+65 6355 3000||Polyclinic|
|Clementi Polyclinic||Blk 451 Clementi Avenue 3, Singapore 120451||+65 6355 3000||Polyclinic|
|Geylang Polyclinic||21 Greylang East Central, Singapore 389707||+65 6842 2440||Polyclinic|
|Gleneagles Hospital||6A Napier Road, Singapore 258500||+65 6575 7575||General Hospital|
|HMI Balestier Hospital||363 Balestier Road, Singapore 329784||+65 6253 3818||Private Hospital|
|Hougang Polyclinic||89 Hougang Avenue 4, Singapore 538829||+65 6355 3000||Polyclinic|
|Johns Hopkins Singapore Medical Centre||11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433||+65 6251 1831||General Hospital & Private Hospital|
|Jurong Polyclinic||190 Jurong East Avenue 1, Singapore 609788||+65 6355 3000||Polyclinic|
|Khoo Teck Puat Hospital||90 Yishun Central, Singapore 768828||+65 6555 8000||General Hospital|
|KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital||100 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 229899||+65 6293 4044||General Hospital|
|Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital||705 Serangoon Road, Singapore 328127||+65 6299 3747||Private Hospital|
|Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital||705 Serangoon Road, Singapore 328127||+65 6299 3747||Community Hospital|
|Mount Alvernia Hospital||820 Thomson Road, Singapore 574623||+65 6347 6688||Private Hospital|
|Mount Elizabeth Hospital||3 Mount Elizabeth Road, Singapore 228510||+65 6737 2666||Private Hospital|
|National Cancer Centre Singapore||11 Hospital Drive, Singapore 169610||+65 6436 8000||Specialist|
|National Dental Centre||5 Second Hospital Avenue, Singapore 168938||+65 6324 8910||Specialist|
|National Heart Centre Singapore||5 Hospital Drive, Singapore 169609||+65 6704 8000||Specialist|
|National Neuroscience Institute||11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng ,Singapore 308433||+65 6357 7153||Speciliast|
|National Skin Centre||1 Mandalay Road, Singapore 308205||+65 6253 4455||Specialist|
|National University Hospital||5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119074||+65 6779 5555||General Hospital|
|Outram Polyclinic||No 3 Second Hospital Avenue, Singapore 168937||+65 6435 3980||Polyclinic|
|Parkway East Hospital||321 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427990||+65 6344 7588||Private Hospital|
|Pasir Ris Polyclinic||1 Pasir Ris Drive, Singapore 519457||+65 6585 5390||Polyclinic|
|Queenstown Polyclinic||580 Stirling Road, Singapore 148958||+65 6471 9530||Polyclinic|
|Raffles Hospital||585 North Bridge Road Singapore 188770||+65 6311 1111||Private Hospital|
|Ren Ci Hospital||71 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore 329562||+65 6385 0777||Community Hospital|
|Sengkang Polyclinic||2 Sengkang Square, Singapore 545025||+65 6315 3500||Polyclinic|
|Singapore General Hospital||Outram Road, Singapore 169608||+65 6222 3322||General Hospital|
|Singapore National Eye Centre||11 Third Hospital Avenue, Singapore 168751||+65 6227 7255||Specialist|
|St Andrew’s Community Hospital||8 Simei Street 3, Singapore 529895||+65 6586 1000||Community Hospital|
|St Luke’s Hospital||2 Bukit Batok Street 11, Singapore 659674||+65 6563 2281||Community Hospital|
|Tampines Polyclinic||1 Tampines Street 41, Singapore 529203||+65 6786 4070||Polyclinic|
|Tan Tock Seng Hospital||11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433||+65 6256 6011||General Hospital|
|Thomson Medical Centre||339 Thomson Road, Singapore 307677||+65 6250 2222||Private Hospital|
|Toa Payoh Polyclinic||2003 Toa Payoh Lor 8, Singapore 319260||+65 6355 3000||Polyclinic|
|Woodlands Polyclinic||10 Woodlands Street 31, Singapore 738579||+65 6355 3000||Polyclinic|
|Yishun Polyclinic||30A Yishun Central 1, Singapore 768796||+65 6355 3000||Polyclinic|