• Singapore Healthcare for Expats

Singapore is famous for its healthcare system. The healthcare system is widely regarding as world-class, with a well-developed and managed ecosystem that encourages technological innovation and well-funded public healthcare service. However, if you are an expat who are not entitled to the Singapore healthcare system, Medicare and treatment in Singapore can be extremely costly.

Thus, it is important for expats to learn the available options when you relocate to Singapore.

Private Healthcare

Private Healthcare in Singapore is more greatly varied. There are private hospitals and clinics. This includes general practitioners and specialists who may charge more for their services. Private hospitals also tend to have more experienced doctors on hand, and as such, many expats in Singapore prefer to seek private medical care.

As an expat in Singapore, you might currently be covered by your company’s healthcare plan. If you are considering starting a business on your own or changing your employer, you will need advice on the various insurance plans for expats in Singapore. Paul Hype Page is ready to assist, to explain the terms and the hidden costs you may be exposed to.

Medication needs

If you have a prescription from your home country, and you need to get a refill on your medicine, you will need to get a prescription from a locally registered doctor. One thing to note is the importation of personal medication is also regulated, and many prescription medications require prior approval before bringing it into the country. The Health Sciences Authority regulates medication and medical devices in Singapore.

Filling your prescriptions can be done either at the clinic you received the prescription or at pharmacies located around the island, in stores such as Guardian, Unity, and many more.

Emergency Numbers

If this matter is an emergency, contact 995 for Fire and Ambulance services. Ambulances will transport patients to the nearest government hospital, and paramedics on board are trained in Trauma and life support.

What are the health insurance policies that cover healthcare for expats?

  • Employer-provided Health Insurance
    If your employer can sponsor your insurance, this is the cover to go for. The major advantage of this cover is that it covers pre-existing conditions that are not excluded in the T&C.
  • Medishield Life
    It is administered by the Board for Central Provident Fund. It is an insurance policy put in place to cover costly hospital bills for both inpatient and outpatient at public facilities.
  • International Health Insurance
    This is advantageous for globally mobile expats and expats who travel frequently because it features higher limits of coverage and a variety of benefits. It covers you in whatever country you seek healthcare services in as long are they are recognized under the cover.
  • Local health insurance
    It mostly covers you while within Singapore. The disadvantage is that your insurance may refuse to renew your cover if while covered you develop a serious condition that you didn’t have at the beginning while taking the policy.
  • Travel Insurance
    It covers the best for those who often travel overseas. The unique benefit is that it covers extra costs incurred due to flight cancellation or flight delays.

Public Healthcare

Three integrated clusters are serving Singapore:

  • Central region: The National Healthcare Group.
  • Eastern region: Singapore Health Services.
  • Western region: National University Health Services.

These clusters include government hospitals and polyclinics, that serve the residents in the surrounding areas. In government hospitals, the fees depend on the type of ward you are in, and if your attending is a junior or a senior doctor.

The prices in these providers vary slightly based on the services required. On average, a consultation at a polyclinic cost around SGD20 – SGD 30 for Singaporeans and permanent residents. For non-residents, it can cost upwards of SGD50.

Healthcare for Expats in Singapore FAQs

What are the most common health concerns to me as an ex-pat in Singapore?2020-11-04T12:20:20+08:00

The common health concerns that expats face in Singapore are dehydration and sunburn. 

Must I have an insurance cover as an expat in Singapore?2020-11-04T12:20:01+08:00

No. Only Singapore citizens and PRs must purchase MediShield – basic health insurance in Singapore. As expats do not qualify for MediShield, it is advisable for expats to source for private basic health insurance plan.  

Are private hospitals more costly than public healthcare?2020-11-04T12:19:38+08:00

Yes. Private hospitals are more expensive as compared to public hospitals.  However, most expats prefer private healthcare due to their service. The common hospitals that expats visit in Singapore are Alexandra, Homage, Gleneagles, and Bright Vision Hospitals. 

How much does it cost for me to schedule an appointment with a GP?2020-11-04T12:18:12+08:00

A consultation with a GP in Singapore will cost you around S$40 – S$100. 

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