Healthcare in Singapore

Healthcare in Singapore

You'll soon be moving abroad and you're still unsure about healthcare in Singapore? No need to worry, this country disposes of good medical infrastructures. However, healthcare is costly, which is why it is important to be well informed before boarding!

 

Singapore excels in healthcare

The former Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, always considered public health to be an indispensable element for the proper development of his country and made it one of his priorities.

This 700 km2 city-state in which more than 5 million inhabitants share its territory, now boasts of a modern and secure healthcare system.

Today, Singapore is considered as a point of reference for its healthcare system and welcomes an average of 400,000 foreign patients per year from the region.

Healthcare in Singapore

Singapore has always been smart in making important partnerships with healthcare organisations around the world. Actually, most of Singaporean doctors are trained abroad in world-class medical facilities.

Today, Singapore disposes of 10 public hospitals, 13 private hospitals and a few specialised clinics. Each facility has its own pricing and specialities. It is thus important to be well informed before going to seek treatment.

Public hospitals also offer emergency services which are opened 24/7.

According to the figures from the Singapore Medical Council, there are more than 900 practicing doctors in the city-state, which gives us the ratio of 18 practitioners for every 10,000 inhabitants; in other words, more than China, Thailand, Malaysia and the majority of Asian countries.

The National Health Plan

In 1983, the government set up the National Health Plan, a social protection system based on the 3Ms: Medisave, Medishield and Medifund.

Medisave is a personal healthcare fund. How does it work? Every month, each resident will contribute 8% to 10,5% levied of their salary in order to be deposited in a medical savings account. These deposits are capitalised and bring a yearly benefit. The account is also credited by the employer. Singaporean residents can use money from this account (Medical Saving account) in order to pay for their health expenses. However, do know that these reimbursements are capped in order to avoid over-consumption of health expenses and an abuse of the system.

Medishield
As opposed to Medisave, it isn't mandatory. Medishied is an insurance that takes care of more expensive health care costs due to more serious illnesses, or major surgeries which Medisave wouldn't be able to cover. Medishield positions itself as a relay of Medisave.

And finally, Medifund is also a social protection set up in 1993, enabling the poor to afford healthcare by paying their health expenses. It truly is a public fund.

To affiliate with the healthcare system in Singapore, you must be a permanent resident, in which case you may call the Central Provident Fund Board (C.P.F.).

Insurance for foreigners

So, understandably, unless you're a permanent resident in Singapore, you won't be able to benefit of the 3 Ms system. You'll then need to obtain private insurance!

APRIL International has conceived for you an insurance adapted for short and long-term expats in Singapore.

Don't neglect having your health coverage in Singapore, you will be exposed to certain risks, and in particular to financial risks with pricing in regards with local medical care.

Date of publication Jan 4 2016