Healthcare in Singapore is top-notch – but, it doesn’t come cheap, particularly for expats. Here are five reasons why healthcare is so expensive, and why you should consider private health insurance in Singapore.
#1 Public vs private healthcare in Singapore
Healthcare in Singapore is divided into two sectors: public and private. While the public healthcare system costs money, it’s still cheaper than the private healthcare system here. For example, an appendix removal can cost as little as $1,327 at the public Changi General Hospital but up to $15,306 in a private facility like Raffles Hospital.
Deciding on whether or not to go public or private all depends on your needs – from comfort to convenience to privacy preferences. Many expats find that they prefer private healthcare in Singapore because of the additional and, often, plush extras that come with it. (Hello, candlelit dinner for two in the maternity ward!)
#2 Doctors’ skills and experience
Many Singaporean doctors have a long list of experience and achievements both locally and abroad. And, highly experienced doctors can be found in both their own private clinics and in public hospitals. However, it’s important to know that a doctor’s credentials and reputation impact his or her consultation rates. Doctors with more experience will likely be more in demand, and charge more. So, it’s important to keep in mind the potential costs of healthcare in Singapore when selecting your doctor.
#3 Consultations and medication collection
In many countries, a “visit to the doctor” means a consultation, then receiving a prescription to fill and buy at the pharmacy. In Singapore, you can actually collect your medicine from the same clinic in which you see your doctor. This means that you have to pay for both the consultation and medications, on the spot. Of course, this can get pricey.
#4 It’s all about location
Location is a definitely a key factor when it comes to the price of healthcare in Singapore. If you visit a private clinic inside a heartland market, bills can be as low as $20. However, if you visit a private clinic inside of a private hospital right in the city – for example, Mount Elizabeth at Orchard – for the same ailment, the bill can easily be $80 or more.
#5 No subsidies for expats
Singapore citizens and permanent residents get government subsidies at both private and pubic hospitals. However, healthcare for expats doesn’t include these government subsidies. For this reason, many expats buy private health insurance in Singapore to ensure that they don’t pay everything out of pocket.
Need help choosing health insurance in Singapore?
It’s worth consulting a respectable insurance expert to find out what kind of health insurance plan is best for your family’s needs, preferences and budget. UEX is an online health insurance platform that offers customisable health coverage, and has advisors on hand to answer any questions you have. To learn more, contact UEX’s advisors at email@example.com.
Here’s a quick video that explains why healthcare is so expensive in Singapore:
Read more on living in Singapore!