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Health care in Singapore

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Singapore provides excellent health care both at private and public levels. Its health care systeme meets international standards.  

Singapore, in spite of its very limited surface (704 km2), has many private clinics, polyclinics or private hospitals, 8 public hospitals as well as several specialized healthcare centres (eyes, skins etc) 

The level of medical equipment, the quality of treatments and the professionalism of medical staffs have contributed to the development of Singapore as a centre of excellence for healthcare, and people come from all parts of Asia to be treated in Singapore.  

The public health system in Singapore: Medisave, Medishield and Medifund

Medisave : 

With regards to social protection, Singaporean employees benefit from an obligatory health cover called “Medisave”. Contribution to Medisave amounts to 6 to 9 % of their monthly wages and is deposited on a “Medical saving Account - MSA saves” permitting self-financing of healthcare expenditures. The level of contribution varies according to the age of the taxpayer: the older the taxpayer, the higher the percentage. This health saving account cannot exceed a certain amount and sums “in excess” are transferred: either on a separate account, the “special account” for people aged 55 years or under, or on a “Retirement Account”, for people aged 55 years and above. When people die, MSA accounts are bestowed on heirs without death taxes.

 Good to know:

Even if Medisave is primarily a self-financing system, healthcare expenditures are partially refunded by the government of Singapore.

Medishield:

Medishield is an optional health coverage very similar to Medisave, and its goal is to finance healthcare expenditures for more serious diseases, heavy surgical operations or long-term treatments for which Medisave would not be sufficient. Medishield thus make up for Medisave coverage. Contributions to Medishield are relatively high but can directly be debited on MSA accounts. People aged 75 years and above cannot register with Medishield and health coverage stops after 85 years.

Medishield plus: 

Medishield plus is a complementary insurance and offers a higher level of coverage as compared to Medishield. 

Medifund: 

It is the basic health insurance guaranteed to most people in Singapore.

What am I entitled to as an expatriate in Singapore?

  • If you are a permanent resident or a self-contractor in Singapore:

If you are a permanent resident in Singapore, you can register with Medisave, Medishield, Medishield plus or Medifund according to your situation. To register, contact the Central Provident Fund Board (C.P.F.) for further information.

  • If you are not a permanent resident or if you work under an expatriate or local contract:

It is then necessary to take up a private insurance. To find a private health that best meets your needs, get your free estimate online !  

 Good to know: 

Medical prescriptions from other countries are not recognized in Singapore. To renew your medical prescriptions, consult a local registered GP with your original prescription. Your GP in Singapore will then deliver a new prescription that guarantees the continuity of your treatment. Pharmacies are generally located within supermarkets, like Guardian pharmacies for example.

 Emergency numbers in Singapore:

Police: 999
Firebrigades: 995  

 Useful links:

Singapore Ministry of Health www.moh.gov.sg
Central Provident Fund Board (C.P.F.) mycpf.cpf.gov.sg

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expat.com Your favourite team
Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
1 Comment
beppi
beppi
3 years ago

(Basic) health insurance coverage is included in the employment contract by most companies in Singapore. There is a great variance in what is covered and up to which amounts, so read your contract's fineprint and take up additional insurance as desired. NTUC Income and some other local insurers offer that - international coverage will cost much more. There is no compulsory health insurance system for all residents, so it is possible (but of course not advisable) to be completely without cover.

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