Singapore Healthcare System Information for Expatriates
Singapore is known for its world-class healthcare system that even inspired the Obama administration to review it for reforming the US healthcare system. At present, the country’s healthcare system is considered the best in Asia. One can obtain any kind of medical treatment in Singapore as well as avail world-class healthcare facilities and services at a reasonable cost. The country’s medical staff is proficient in English with years of relevant work experience under their belt.
For expats, public healthcare and private healthcare facilities cost almost the same, since very little government benefits are passed down to those who are not Singapore’s citizens. Private healthcare facilities have a better service level than public facilities. This prompts many expats living in Singapore (and also several medical tourists from around the world) to visit a private healthcare facility for availing medical treatment. Those who are concerned about the high costs of healthcare in Singapore can buy an all-inclusive international healthcare plan before departing for Singapore from their home country. For more health-related information of Singapore, click on this CDC link.
Overview of Healthcare in Singapore
Singapore’s healthcare system is highly regarded by locals and expatriates alike, including those from its neighboring countries. All of the public and private hospitals in the country are equipped with the most advanced medical equipment that helps their staff maintain a high standard of service. Many of Singapore’s hospitals are also regarded among the best in the world, including National University Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore General Hospital, etc.
Singapore’s Central Provident Fund (CPF), a comprehensive savings plan, is compulsory for all Singaporeans and permanent residents, as it funds their housing needs and retirement, besides healthcare. The mandatory state insurance scheme requires all employers and employees to make a fixed nominal contribution for availing hospital coverage when needed.
Besides pharmacies, pharmaceuticals in Singapore are also available at numerous departmental stores, supermarkets, and shopping centers. Most of them close by around 6 pm, though a few of them continue to serve customers until 10 pm.
How the Singaporean Healthcare System Works for Expats
As a foreigner working in Singapore, you will probably not need to make CPF contributions. However, this also means that you will not be able to benefit from the government’s subsidized health insurance programs. Even though healthcare is quite affordable in Singapore than the United States or the United Kingdom, you still need good health insurance to keep sudden expenses in check. An international health insurance plan in Singapore will also come handy to safeguard your family members in the event of any critical illness.
Many expats get health insurance coverage under their company’s insurance plans, though it’s not the same for everyone. This is why it’s recommended to buy a good health insurance plan either directly from the insurer, independent agent, or through your employer.
Best Private International Medical Insurance for Expats in Singapore
Most of the outpatient services in Singapore are fairly inexpensive. This is a major reason why many expats do not mind paying for occasional visits from their pockets. Even then, it’s essential to buy expat health insurance coverage that covers critical illnesses and expenses related to inpatient care. Moreover, you can also opt to include everything in your plan, and even include your family to let them enjoy its benefits. Several international insurers offer their customized plans for Singapore, so finding a suitable one should not be much of a struggle for you.
Buying private health insurance will give you and your family access to all private medical facilities in Singapore. Many of these plans provide you a global cover, so even if you are traveling for a vacation or some other reason, you can still avail the benefits in another country. Also, besides covering the excruciatingly high private care charges, these plans will help you book priority appointments with general physicians and specialists in Singapore. You can also opt for other popular ones including Allianz plan that covers the European expats, or the GeoBlue Xplorer, which is ideal for US citizens. Yet another option for expats in Singapore is the IMG Global Medical Insurance plan.