Health screenings are the first line of disease detection. Many illnesses don’t show symptoms early on, such as early stages of cancer and diabetes; so, even if you think that you’re in the pink of health, it’s important to get yourself checked out regularly. Here we find out about key screenings in Singapore, how much they cost and if they can be covered by health insurance.
What types of health screenings are available?
What’s considered an ‘important’ screening differs for each individual. It depends on a range factors:
- Age: We are generally prone to more diseases as we get older. For instance, those who have bladder problems, dementia or cardiovascular diseases tend to be more senior.
- Family: Diseases such as cancer or diabetes are often hereditary. It may be a good idea to take extra tests if your parents or grandparents suffer from those illnesses.
- Health: The state of your physical health plays a role in determining the types of screening you should take.
Did you know that the Ministry of Health in Singapore recommends two main kinds of screenings for people of differing health conditions? We outline both of them, below.
General screening tests
General screening tests (also known as Type 1 screening tests) are beneficial for every individual, regardless of their specific health conditions.
18 years and above
- Body Mass Index waist circumference measurement (once a year): Obesity
- Blood pressure measurement (once every two years or as advised by your doctor): Hypertension (high blood pressure)
40 years and above
- Fasting blood glucose test (every three years): Diabetes mellitus
- Fasting lipids and non-fasting lipids test (every three years): Hyperlipidemia (high blood cholesterol)
50 years and above
- Fecal occult blood test (once a year) and colonoscopy (once every ten years): Colorectal cancer
- 25 to 69 years: Pap test (once every three years) and HPV test (once every five years) to test for cervical cancer
- 50 to 69 years: Mammogram (once every two years) to screen for breast cancer
Babies (up to four weeks) are recommended to have these one-time screenings:
- Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) screening
- Inborn Errors of Metabolism (IEM)
- Thyroid Function Test (TFT)
Specific screening tests
Specific screening tests (known as Type 2 screening tests) are for individuals with special conditions such as:
- a family history of hereditary or chronic diseases;
- existing chronic medical conditions; or
- exposure to factors that can lead to certain diseases (e.g., smoking and extensive alcohol consumption)
For more information about health screenings in Singapore, consult a professional medical practitioner who can recommend suitable health screening tests.
How much do they cost?
The cost of health screenings can range from $70 to as high as $788. This is because there is a wide range of healthcare options available in Singapore, from public hospitals to private clinics and hospitals. The cost will also depend on the type of screening package you choose.
Here are some prices of different types of basic health screening packages at a few of Singapore’s private hospitals and clinics (prices accurate at the time of publishing):
- Raffles Hospital ($74.90): Covers key health indicators, blood sugar levels, urinalysis, and cholesterol levels.
- Farrer Park Hospital ($350): Apart from external tests, it includes liver, diabetes and gout screenings.
- Thomson Wellth Clinic ($310): Includes urine and stool analysis, chest x-rays and blood tests.
- Parkway East Hospital ($438 for men and $468 for women): The pricier package for women includes a pap smear among other tests like chest x-rays and urine analysis.
- Mount Elizabeth Hospital ($788 for men and $818 for women): Apart from common screening tests, patients can choose an additional ultrasound test on the liver, kidney, thyroid, prostate (men) and breast ultrasound (women).
Does health insurance cover them?
Health screenings can be covered by private health insurance, however this will depend on the plan you signed up for. Ensure you read your policy details carefully so you know if you’ll be covered. Most international health insurance plans include this benefit.
To find private health insurance in Singapore, talk to an insurance broker such as Pacific Prime. Pacific Prime works with top insurers in Singapore to offer health insurance for expats, including plans that cover pre-existing conditions and those for families.
Read on for more about insurance and other health and fitness topics in Singapore: