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The cost of comprehensive health screenings in Singapore in 2019

That prevention is better than cure is something we already know, but how often we walk the talk and go for a health screening regularly is a completely different story. Perhaps it’s owing to the cost, the fear of blood and needles, or having undesirable outcomes, but not a lot of Singaporeans undertake health checkups on a regular basis. And even when they do, they don’t visit a doctor even after red flags show up in tests, according to a report from The Straits Times. So what exactly is included in these health screenings? How much does a comprehensive health screening cost in the Lion City? How often should you get checked? Today, Pacific Prime Singapore will answer the aforementioned questions.

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What exactly is a health screening?

Health screenings are tests that look for diseases before you have symptoms. There are primarily two types of health screenings, namely specific and general.

Specific testing:

As you can guess from the name, if you suspect or are at risk of a certain illness, that’s the form of testing you should go for. Most clinics and hospitals in Singapore maintain a full list of screening procedures for various ailments which you can pick and choose from.

General testing:

Also known as comprehensive health screening, it is the form of health screening you should undertake if you are just looking for a general look-over. General testing comprises a physical check-up and several medical tests to screen for common conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

If you are not looking for anything specific, a basic check-up should include four basic components:

Medical health assessment: A chat with your doctor to assess your medical history and lifestyle, and identify any potential risks you might have.

Physical examination: The doctor should take your height and weight, measure your BMI and check your vision.

Blood glucose test: A blood sample is taken after fasting, to test for diabetes.

Cholesterol (lipid) test: A test for high cholesterol and heart-related diseases, taken after fasting.

And depending on your needs, you may also ask for add-ons such as blood pressure test, urine analysis, full blood count, and electrocardiogram (ECG).

How much does a comprehensive health screening cost in Singapore?

Warning: your Medisave can only be used for a limited range of specific screenings, such as mammograms and colonoscopies. General health screenings are, therefore, not covered. Polyclinics don’t offer comprehensive health screening services, either, since they only perform screenings for certain specific diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

So if you are looking for a general health screening, you can only opt for a private or public hospital, or a private clinic. Private hospitals tend to offer packages with a more exhaustive list of screening procedures, but of course, these services come with a heftier price tag.

However, even amongst more affordable public hospitals, health screening packages can offer different types of screening services so it’s crucial that you compare different packages carefully beforehand.

Below is a summary of the costs of the most basic packages at major public and private hospitals, and private clinics (as of the time of writing this article):

Price list of public hospitals

Hospital name Basic package price
Ng Teng Fong Hospital / Jurong Community Hospital $88
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital $98
Tan Tock Seng Hospital $200
National University Hospital $260
Changi General Hospital $360

Price list of private hospitals

Hospital name Basic package price
Raffles Hospital $7​4.​​9
Farrer Park Hospital $290
Thomson Medical Centre $310.5
Parkway East Hospital $438 for men & $468 for women
Gleneagles / Mount Elizabeth Hospital $788 for men & $818 for women

 

Price list of private clinics

Clinic name Basic package price
Central Clinic $48
Lifescan Medical Centre $88
Sata CommHealth $255
Healthway Medical $270

How often should you get checked?

It entirely depends on your age, health status, and family history. But the general rule is that, if you are a healthy individual, you may not need to go for a comprehensive health screening every year. Certain types of screenings like mammograms and x-rays can actually be harmful, and should not be overdone.

But after you have reached a certain age, which varies between different individuals, you may consider having annual check-ups. However, ultimately you should consult your doctor on what and when you should get health screenings.

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Health screening options for expats in Singapore

While Singaporean nationals can use their Medisave to cover the costs of some screenings, expatriates living in the city may have to pay out of pocket for the medical expenses, which could stack up significant costs especially in private institutions. This is even more so for expats who fly frequently between different countries, which is why they should consider securing an international health insurance policy.

International health insurance allows you to get access to quality healthcare at your preferred medical facility across virtually all countries in the world, though some plans may exclude the United States. You will have the peace of mind in knowing that you can enjoy top-notch care should you encounter any mishap overseas.

This kind of international healthcare comes with a higher price tag and can be a substantial investment, which is why you should compare different policies carefully before making any purchasing decision.

With over 19 years of experience and nine offices across the world, Pacific Prime Singapore is an established insurance advisory specialized in international health insurance and employee benefits. Our team of experts are on hand to match you with the best plan that matches your needs. Contact us today for impartial advice, an obligation-free quote, and a plan comparison!