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Check out our guide on Public vs Private healthcare in Singapore

Pacific Prime Singapore is pleased to announce the release of our latest health insurance guide. Titled: Public vs Private Healthcare in Singapore, this health insurance guide covers what people new to the city need to know about the public and private healthcare options available in the city. Here, we take a look at the guide, what it covers, and where you can get your own copy.

About our Public vs Private Healthcare guide

Singapore is one of the most popular cities for expats, and in recent years has certainly seen an increase in the number of expats moving here from other locations. This growth in population along with Singapore’s booming medical tourism industry and an aging population has resulted in an increased demand for medical care in the city. To meet this demand, both the public and private healthcare systems have grown and evolved.

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As such, we have created this guide to help expats stay abreast of the healthcare system in the city. The Public vs Private healthcare in Singapore guide covers important differences between the public and private healthcare systems that all expats (new and veteran) should know. These include:

  • An overview of healthcare options in Singapore
  • A look at Singapore’s universal health insurance scheme
  • What you need to know about both public and private hospitals
  • Alternative health care in the city
  • The cost of healthcare in Singapore
  • Your insurance options

Below are a few questions this guide can help to answer, along with some information you might find useful.

Open preview of the Public vs Private Healthcare guide in Singapore

Are expats able to benefit from universal health insurance in Singapore?

For years, Singapore’s universal health insurance schemes – Medisave and Medishield – have been the envy of many nations. The system has been largely successful and is a key component of managing the cost of healthcare in the city. This is also one of the main reasons why Singapore’s healthcare system has been consistently ranked as one of the most efficient systems on Earth.

There is little doubt that the Medisave and Medishield systems are beneficial to residents of Singapore. There is one thing about this system all expats in Singapore, or who are considering moving to Singapore need to be aware of: the schemes are for permanent residents and citizens only.  

As an expat, you are unfortunately not allowed to join the universal health insurance scheme which means that you will need to look elsewhere for health insurance coverage.

This is an important thing to know because the cost of healthcare in the city can be quite expensive if you are paying for it out of pocket. It is also important to note here that if you are an expat and you are not covered by Medisave and Medishield, you will still certainly be able to visit both the public and private hospitals, only you will have to pay full price.

What is the cost of healthcare in Singapore?

Singapore has long been one of the biggest draws for medical tourism and while the cost of healthcare will be cheaper in other nearby countries like Malaysia and Thailand, the quality of care here is what draws people to the city and the hospitals.

That said, you will find differences in the cost of health care between the public and private network. Luckily, the systems are both fairly transparent when it comes to costs with the government’s Ministry of Health publishing the average costs for treatments in the city.  

As we point out in the guide, many hospitals will also clearly publish their treatment costs on their websites. For example, a first visit to a specialist outpatient doctor at the Singapore General is reported to cost:



(Singapore Citizen)



(Permanent Resident) 

Private Patient  
Up to SGD 39 Up to SGD 59 SGD 114.49 to SGD 146.59 (depending on type of specialist and experience)


What are my health insurance options in Singapore?

For expats in Singapore there are a number of health insurance options, the two most popular being:

  • Local coverage – Plans that offer coverage at hospitals and clinics only within Singapore.
  • International coverage – Plans that are sold to people living in Singapore and offer cover in almost any country.

Where can I download the Public vs Private healthcare in Singapore Guide?

This guide is currently available to download for free from our website. Download your copy today to learn more about healthcare in the city, and if you have any questions regarding how you can cover the costs please contact one of our advisors.

We can work with you to identify the best health insurance plan for you and your family and will take the time to explain the differences between care. Contact us today.

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Content Strategist at Pacific Prime Singapore
Jessica Lindeman is a Content Strategist at Pacific Prime. She comes to work every day living and breathing the motto of "simplifying insurance", and injects her unbridled enthusiasm for health and insurance related topics into every article and piece of content she creates for Pacific Prime.

When she's not typing away on her keyboard, she's reading poetry, fueling her insatiable wanderlust, getting her coffee fix, and perpetually browsing animal Instagram accounts.