Singapore: healthcare and medical travel

Healthcare in Singapore rates among the best in the world, but it is also one of the most expensive. The city-state has said it is no longer targeting medical travellers, but is seeking health tourists, as it slowly opens for tourism.

Most hospitals and clinics in Singapore offer a mix of private and public treatments. Even some government-run hospitals offer public and private treatment options.

The Ministry of Health publishes fee benchmarks for private sector professional fees for 222 common surgical procedures. There are three levels, locals, local expatriates and foreign nationals, so the price of the same treatment can vary. For example, a consultation with a doctor would cost:

  • Singapore national – SG$31.99 (US$23.60)
  • Expat resident – SG$40.55 (US$29.90)
  • Expat non-resident – SG$60.88 (US$44.89)

Private medical suites are excellent, with five-star facilities offering personalised care, outstanding catering, and exceptional cleanliness. Daily hospital charges can be up to SG$3,000 a day (US$2,212) for the most luxurious private hospitals.

Surgery costs in Thailand are cheaper, but many foreign nationals opt for Singapore as a medical tourism destination.

Singapore does get medical tourists from Brunei and Hong Kong, but there are no dates for opening to any of the other countries where medical tourists come from. It does not expect to fully open for travel until 2022.

Travellers from select countries can enter Singapore without having to quarantine, only if they are fully vaccinated. The first countries in are Macao and Hong Kong.

According to the National Aviation Authority, Singapore will also begin its vaccinated travel lane with Germany and Brunei in September. The vaccinated travel lane will be reciprocal, meaning Singaporeans can travel to Germany and Brunei without quarantine, if fully vaccinated.

For all these countries there are complex rules and multiple test requirements.