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Singapore Healthcare for Foreigners

3 min read|Last Updated: August 5, 2022|
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Singapore has one of the best healthcare services and facilities, and as a foreigner or expat in Singapore there are various types of medications that you should know. Whether you are incorporating a company or moving to Singapore, understanding the healthcare system in Singapore is crucial.

Types of Medications

As per the government guidelines, there are three types of medications in Singapore:

  • Prescription-Only Medicine

    • Requires a doctor’s or health expert’s prescription else it cannot be sold
  • Pharmacy-Only Medication

    • Only available at certain drug stores and sold by qualified pharmacists
  • General Sales Medication

    • Available everywhere including retail stores  
    • Some of the popular drug store chains in Singapore are Watsons and Guardian

Besides these 3 types of medications, you also have the option of getting Traditional Chinese Medicine.

How to Import Drugs into Singapore

Should your drugs or medicine are not available in Singapore, you may need to import them over. However, do take note that:

  • The medications’ ingredients do not include those in the ‘Controlled Substance’ or ‘Prohibited Items’ list

  • Evidence to support the legality of bringing over these medications to Singapore is required


Necessary paperwork and details of the medication will be required to apply for an official Import Permit. Some details may include:

  • Health complications

  • Doctor’s prescription

  • Dosage

Controlled Medications

There are also controlled medications in Singapore. These are drugs that contain psychotropic or addictive components and not anyone can dispense it. Find out if your medication is controlled with the Health Science Authority. If you are looking for the list of import restrictions, you can read more about them here.

Locating a Health Facility

Health facilities are strategically located around Singapore. Here’s a quick list of some private and public hospitals in Singapore:

You may visit the Ministry of Health website for the entire list of the types of health facilities, such as GP Clinics, Polyclinics, and more.  

All in all, the healthcare in Singapore is pretty good and accessible for foreigners – there shouldn’t be any major problems in ensuring that you keep healthy in the city.

When it comes to moving to Singapore, whether to livefor work, or even set up a business in Singapore, there are many considerations before making the right decision. Talk to us and see how we can help make the transition seamless for you! 

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Are foreign prescriptions valid in Singapore?2021-08-21T16:03:12+08:00

Foreign prescriptions are not valid in Singapore. You will need to visit a doctor in Singapore to receive a new prescription.

If I am only in Singapore for transit, do I need to apply for approval for my personal medication?2021-08-21T16:04:22+08:00

No approval from the authorities is needed if you are bringing your personal medications while in Singapore only for transit.

Can I bring medicine on the plane in a cabin baggage to Singapore?2021-08-21T16:04:50+08:00

Yes, but it is subjected to additional security checks. You must also declare to the airport security personnel and provide supporting documents for the prescribed drug(s).

Do I need to apply in advance if I want to bring in 6 months’ supply of personal medications into Singapore?2021-08-21T16:05:14+08:00

Yes. You will need to apply for approval at least 10 days in advance if you want to bring in more than 3 months’ worth of personal medications into Singapore. 

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