Directory of Singapore Medical Institutions
Idea behind Singapore's Healthcare System
A key principle of Singapore's national health scheme is that no medical service is provided free of charge, regardless of the level of subsidy, even within the public healthcare system. Out-of-pocket charges vary considerably for each service and level of subsidy. At the highest level of subsidy, although each out-of-pocket expense is typically small, costs can accumulate and become substantial for patients and families. At the lowest level, the subsidy is in effect nonexistent, and patients are treated like private patients, even within the public system. Here is a quick summary
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Brief Introduction to Singapore's Medical Institutions
There are two types of medical insitituions in Singapore, namely public and private. Public medical institutions are funded primarily by Singapore government to provide subsidised healthcare services to Singapore citizens(and to a lesser extent to PRs). Approximately 70-80% of Singapore citizens obtain their medical care within the public health system. These facilities consist of a number of public hospitals for inpatient services and numerous polyclinics offering outpatient services. Although wholly owned by the government, the public hospitals are operated in the form of private limited companies in order to compete with private sector on service and quality. Please refer to the list of major public hospitals and centres in Singapore
Public medical insitutions also sets the benchmark for the private ones on professional medical standards and costs. Specifically, Singapore government conceptuates long-term trends such as the supply of hospital beds, the introduction of new medicines, and increase of cost in the public sector which sets the national benchmark. Citizens are subsidised by the government in public hospitals. PRs get some subsidy as well, but some complain the subsidy is nominal. On the other hand, if citizens and PRs need medical services or medicines that are not subsidised by the governement, they also need to pay the private charge.
Doctors who have finished their contractual obligation with public medical institutions and have accumulated enough experience may venture out on their own to practise in private medical institutions. As a result, generally speaking doctors practising in private institutions tend to have more years of experience under the belt. Most doctors in private sector operate their own clinics, usually housed by major private medical centres and relying on private hospitals for services like operation theatre, ward, medical imaging, laboratory, etc. In private hospitals and clinics, patients pay the full amount charged by the hospitals and doctors with absolutely no subsidy from the government.back to top
Tips for "Private Patients"
Who are the so-called "private patients"? Private patients means patients who don't get any subsidy from government for their medical payments. Depending on who you are and the medical services you are seeking, private patient status sometimes is not a definite concept. Check out below table for a quick reference.
|You are||Public Medical Institutions||Private Medical Institutions|
|Oridinary Services||Private Suites|
|Singapore citizen||not private patients||private patients||private patients|
|Singaporean PR||not private patients||private patients||private patients|
|All Others||private patients|
Here are some tips for all "private patients":
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- Going to public hospitals doesn't reduce your medical bill significantly, especially when you see a senior doctor in public hospitals.
- Public hospitals tend to have longer waiting time, even in their private suites.
- Doctors in public hospitals are much less financially-motivated to prescribe unnecessary medical examinations and medicines. They are less likely to pursue aggressive surgical approaches as well.
- When it comes to seeking second opinions, you might want to take public hospitals into consideration even if you plan to go for private medical services.
- Regardless which hospital you go, you might be asked for upfront deposit or insurance provides guarantee before you get hospitalized.
- If you are neither Singapore citizen nor PR and you are planning to stay in a public hospital, make sure you check the medical charges and ward types with the hospital.
List of Major Public and Private Hospitals and Specialty Centres in Singapore
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