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.
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.
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.