Overview of the healthcare system in Singapore

By: Osler Health International
Posted on: 4 Jul 2022

Ranked as having the 6th best healthcare system in the world by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Singapore is renowned for its world-class standard of healthcare, accredited medical facilities and highly-trained medical professionals. Singapore’s healthcare system can be broadly categorised into public and private healthcare. If you are new to Singapore, here’s everything you need to know about Singapore’s healthcare system.

Healthcare facilities

Public healthcare facilities

Public healthcare facilities are government-owned and provide Singapore citizens and permanent residents with access to subsidised healthcare services. The public healthcare system comprises three integrated clusters: National Healthcare Group (NHG) in the central region, Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) in the eastern region and National University Health System (NUHS) in the western region. Each integrated cluster will offer a range of facilities and services, including government hospitals for inpatient services and polyclinics for outpatient services.

Here is a list of some public hospitals in Singapore: 

  • Singapore General Hospital 
  • Tan Tok Seng Hospital 
  • Alexandra Hospital 
  • National University Hospital 
  • Khoo Teck Puat Hospital 
  • Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital 
  • KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital 
  • Changi General Hospital

Private healthcare facilities

Just like public healthcare facilities, private healthcare facilities in Singapore are subject to stringent government regulations and provide an excellent standard of medical care and healthcare services. Since public healthcare is not subsidised for non-Singaporeans, the cost difference between choosing public and private healthcare is negligible. Hence, most non-Singaporeans prefer private healthcare facilities. Moreover, private healthcare settings generally offer medical care in a more relaxed, more personalised setting.

Private healthcare facilities in Singapore comprise private clinics offering outpatient care as well as private hospitals and medical centres providing inpatient services.

Here is a list of private hospitals in Singapore: 

  • Mount Elizabeth Hospital 
  • Raffles Hospital 
  • Mount Alvernia Hospital and Medical Centre
  • Gleneagles Hospital and Medical Centre

Healthcare coverage

All Singapore citizens are entitled to the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS), which allows access to subsidised medical and dental care at participating General Practitioner (GP) and dental clinics. A part of contributions under the Central Providence Fund (CPF), a mandatory savings scheme for Singapore citizens and permanent residents, goes towards government healthcare insurance schemes like MediSave, MediShield Life and CareShield Life. MediSave and MediShield Life cover inpatient and outpatient bills, while CareShield Life provides monthly cash payouts in the event of severe disability.

Non-Singaporeans are not entitled to CPF contributions and do not have access to government health insurance schemes and subsidies. Hence, it is vital for expatriates to get private health insurance coverage with a trusted broker like Expat Insurance. Without subsidies, healthcare can be costly in Singapore. According to Ministry of Health statistics, the average cost of treatment per day in private hospitals can range from $1,327-$5,310 for medical specialities and $3,340-$7,053 for surgical specialities. Without insurance protection, hefty healthcare costs could quickly dent your savings. Getting private health insurance coverage will protect you and your family from ballooning medical bills in the event of unforeseen circumstances, offering peace of mind and a financially secure future.

Emergency telephone numbers

Here are a list of telephone numbers you can call in Singapore in case of medical emergencies: 

Do also locate your nearest Accident & Emergency (A&E) department to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances.

Family Physician

We recommend that you get a family physician, also known as a General Practitioner (GP) to support your healthcare needs. A regular GP has an in-depth understanding of you and your family’s medical history, allowing for continuous care and more effective management of chronic illnesses. Furthermore, family physicians are trained in an extensive range of medical areas, allowing you access to specialised physical and mental health services without incurring steep costs. 

Speak to our dedicated team of doctors at any of our clinics in Singapore to find out more about our comprehensive healthcare services today.

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