Medical Tourism in Singapore 

Singapore is one of the world’s top medical tourism destinations.  

According to the Medical Tourism Association, Singapore ranks second after Canada in the Medical Tourism Index. 

The term medical tourism has started gaining popularity since globalisation. Singapore is mainly known for being a popular tourist destination with its stunning rivers and valleys. The country has recently worked on improving the medical science infrastructure here. As a result, it has attracted people from across the globe to visit this country for medical tourism. 

 

The city-state receives approximately 500,000 medical tourists each year. As many as 250,000 medical tourists come from Indonesia alone! 

Singapore’s private hospitals offer exceptional healthcare services with state-of-the-art facilities and well-trained medical specialists. 

International medical tourists visit Singapore each year for a whole range of medical care and treatments from health screenings to surgery. 

Medical tourists can cover healthcare costs by obtaining an international health insurance plan.  

 

Important note:[Text Wrapping Break]Several private hospitals in Singapore, particularly those that offer high standards of healthcare and participate in the medical tourism market, will treat foreign patients who are covered by a health insurance plan.

What Is the Significance of Medical Tourism in Singapore?

Singapore's health tourism improved with the COVID-19 crisis when the healthcare systems here handled the pandemic amidst tourism competently. As a result, the medical tourism industry of Singapore is expected to reach about S$ 38 million in 2024. As of 2018, nearly 500,000 medical tourists visit Singapore annually. 

 

Singapore has multiple JCI-accredited hospitals and offers world-class medical facilities to patients. The physicians are highly qualified and have received their affiliations from prestigious organisations like the Singapore Medical Council and Singapore Nursing Board. Compared to the US, Singapore offers affordable and budget-friendly medical treatment facilities 

Medical tourists travel to Singapore for its excellent healthcare system and structure, with the knowledge that medical professionals here use some of the most advanced, high-end diagnostic equipment. Even though the costs of seeking treatment can be higher than its neighbours (which is why securing international health insurance coverage is recommended), medical tourists view Singapore as a safe country to visit with clean and safe neighbourhoods and a stable political situation. 

Medical tourists travel to Singapore for a wide array of services and operations, which include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Orthopedic surgery (e.g. hip and knee replacements, spinal fusion, hip resurfacing: SGD $12,000 – 16,000) 
  • Cardiac surgeries (e.g. heart bypass, valve replacements: SGD $5,500 – $130,000) 
  • Cancer treatments (e.g. chemotherapy/radiology/immunotherapy: SGD $1,500 – $234,000) 

 

Take note: The above costs vary from hospital to hospital, and depends on the course of treatment for each individual. Due to the high cost of treatment in Singapore, it is encouraged to secure an international health insurance plan, so that any of the above treatments and those not mentioned are fully covered by your insurer. 

You must be contemplating choosing healthcare tourism in Singapore. 

Here are some features of this medical tourism to help you make a decision. 

 

Cost of Treatments 

Expenses are one of the first essential factors that come to your mind when it comes to healthcare. 

So if you are considering Singapore medical facilities, here is a highlight of its charges  a major USP of Singapore healthcare is its affordable pricing.  

You can save 50%-80% of your expenses compared to the healthcare facilities of the US.  

Mostly, cardiac surgeries can be completed at a much lower price. Therefore, Singapore can be a suitable medical tourism destination if you are looking for budget-friendly clinical treatment. 

 

Accreditations of the Hospitals 

Most of the hospitals in Singapore have international accreditations. 

There are about 21 JCI (Joint Commission International)-accredited hospitals in Singapore. Some of these hospitals include  

Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Raffles Hospital, National University Hospital and National Cancer Centre. 

Apart from that, the local accreditations include the Singapore Health Promotion Board, the Singapore Laboratory Accreditation System (SINGLAS), the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC) and the Singaporean Ministry of Health. 

In addition, the Singapore Accreditation Council is responsible for monitoring health facilities.  

This shows that the hospitals offer the best care quality. 

 

Medical Facilities 

Singapore is known for its high-quality medical facilities. Here are the facilities that distinguish Singapore from other medical tourism destinations. 

Qualified Medical Team:  

The medical team in the hospitals of Singapore receives their accreditations from authorities like the Singapore Nursing Board, Singapore Medical Council, and Singapore Dental Board. The pharmacy and the laboratory boards are also responsible for monitoring the activities of the medical team. They are highly qualified and experienced in their jobs and take extra care of the patients. 

 

International Health Insurance:  

Singapore offers medical tourists an international health insurance plan. These cover areas like dental care, maternity care, vision care, and evacuation plans. Moreover, these offer direct billing to avoid the hassles associated with claiming your healthcare expenses. 

 

Medical Tools and Equipment: The government of Singapore is investing in improving the medical device industry. The Health Sciences Authority (HAS) regulates and approves medical devices in Singapore.  

The hospitals use multiple health devices like digital X-Ray machines, PT Scan and MRI machines, catheters, pacemakers, defibrillators, and many others. 

Singapore has successfully become a hub for all kinds of medical research and opportunities. It has evolved as a high-end MedTech manufacturing base. Additionally, it has contributed to the development of medical science with innovative medical devices like implantable pacemakers, coat lenses and other valuable medical devices. 

 

Singapore has about 25 R&D centers focusing solely on medical science. These are committed to developing business models keeping big data and patient-centric care in mind. The medical industry of Singapore is responsible for 60% of the microarrays and nearly one-third of the thermal cyclers and mass spectrometers worldwide. 


 

Best Medical Treatments that Singapore Provides for Foreigners

While learning about wellness tourism in Singapore, it will be helpful to know the services primarily popular in this country. These are listed below: 

Most hospitals and specialty centers in Singapore cater to medical tourists, and virtually all of them offer exceptional quality healthcare. The major hospitals in Singapore have international accreditation from theJoint Commission International (JCI), ISO, or OHSAS. Singapore currently 2023 has 13 JCI-accredited hospitals and medical centers.  

Medical Tourism in singapore

Here is a handy checklist of important documents and items to bring with you when travelling to hospitals for medical treatment. 

  • Doctor’s referral letter 
  • Identity document such as ID, passport, birth certificate or FIN card 
  • Letter of guarantee from your insurance company, if using your insurance 
  • Local currency (Singapore dollars) or credit card for transactions 
  • Personal toiletries such as a toothbrush and shaving kit 
  • Basic toiletries, towels and robes will be provided. 

It is often difficult to move to a foreign country like Singapore for medical requirements. It is a paranoia that prevents people from trying out medical tourism. Here are some tips to ensure perfect medical tourism. 

 

  • Complete Your Research & Homework: The first step is to analyse Singapore’s current medical industry, and look into its healthcare facilities and options. Selecting the correct country for medical tourism is essential, as it is directly related to your health and well-being. Therefore, learn about multiple medical tourism destinations before making a final choice. 
  • Learn About the procedures: Complicated medical procedures might be conducted in different ways across countries. Moreover, the healthcare services of different countries have their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, Singapore is known for its cardiac surgeries. Therefore, select your country, keeping your health requirements in mind. 
  • Find Specialists: Try to look for specialist doctors and medical teams in Singapore. You can find them on different hospital websites. It will help you shorten your search for hospitals and ensure that your health will be in the best hands, even in a foreign country. 
  • Talk to the Hospitals: Talking directly to the hospitals of Singapore to find out the details of their services and functions is always advisable. It will help you take notes regarding their facilities, services and package details. Even though an international call can be expensive, it will be beneficial to make this call. You can find the contact details of hospitals on their official websites. 
  • Plan Your Expenses: You should always plan your expenses, particularly regarding the entire medical treatment procedure. For this, it will be essential to compare the prices and packages the different hospitals offer. You need to choose the best package that will benefit your health requirements. This way, you can prevent spending extra bucks. 
  • Travel arrangements : Visa application - 

If you are a non-Singaporean or a non-Singaporean Permanent Resident, please ensure that you obtain a valid visa prior to your visit to Singapore. You may apply for a medical visa and request for a supporting letter from our doctors when you travel for medical-related purposes. Visa applications can take up to 6 weeks to prepare, so please plan ahead. 

Singapore does not require an entry visa for patients from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, or the European Union. Singapore requires visas from 39 additional countries, which are divided into two categories: 

  • Group 1 requires only an electronic visa, which is available online. These nations include Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and others; as well as, China, India, and Turkmenistan. 
  • A full visa is required for Group 2: This group of nations includes African nations like Algeria, Nigeria, Tunisia, Egypt, etc., as well as Near Eastern Asian nations like Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya, etc. 
  • Book Your Accommodations: Finally, you must make the necessary bookings and reservations before moving to Singapore. Hotel bookings in advance will help you save money.  

For this, you can consult a travel planner, who will help you with suitable options in this regard. 

If you are planning medical tourism in Singapore, it will be beneficial to know about the best places, cities and towns that offer medical services. Find out about it in the following list. 

Orchard Road: This is one of the most popular places to stay in Singapore, with a bustling city vibe. While it is mainly known for shopping facilities, there are many hospitals in this region.  

For instance, you can find Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Camden Medical Centre and Raffles Medical in this region. 

 

Downtown Core: This is another famous city in Singapore that is convenient for medical tourists. It is mainly known for the iconic Singapore Skyline. 

Some popular hospitals here include St Andrew's Mission Hospital, Woodlands Health Campus, Singapore General Hospital, Raffles Hospital, etc. 

 

Sentosa Island: This beautiful island is filled with stunning beaches and resorts. Apart from that, it offers access to healthcare services. You can easily travel to Singapore General Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital and National University Hospital (NUH) from this place. 

 

Chinatown: This city is known for its historical significance, attracting tourists annually. It has cheaper accommodation compared to the other cities. Moreover, it offers access to hospitals like Singapore General Hospital, St Andrew's Mission Hospital, etc. 

If you are still unsure about going on a medical tour to Singapore, these advantages will help you make a sound decision. 

 

Affordable Pricing: Another advantage of Singapore healthcare facilities is its affordable pricing strategy. Here, you can access high-quality healthcare services without paying a hefty amount. This means you can ensure health treatments and procedures without worrying about high expenses. 

 

Advanced Medical Facilities: The hospitals offer superior facilities to look after the well-being of the patients. You will get 24/7 emergency and accident services in the hospitals. There is also a provision for a physician on call anytime in the day. The hospital staff is extremely friendly and mostly speaks English to serve international patients. 

Thus, medical tourism in Singapore can be beneficial to get access to high-quality medical treatment facilities. The hospitals' pricing is much lower compared to the western standards. Moreover, the quality of procedures and medical devices is impressive in Singapore, which will ensure optimum care quality. 

Singapore has world-class hospitals and clinics that offer a wide range of medical procedures and treatments. There are several reasons why people choose to come to Singapore for medical care, including the high quality of care, the relatively low cost of care, and the convenient location. 

Singapore's healthcare sector is considered one of the best in the world, providing some of the most advanced healthcare services. 

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