Posted on Apr 05, 2016 by rob.mcbroom
Medical tourism has become a popular reason for expats to visit Asia. For many, the choice usually boils down to between Bangkok or Singapore. When looking at Bangkok you will find two hospitals as being the most popular: Samitivej and Bumrungrad. These hospitals highlight an interesting trend in medical tourism in Asia: Hospitals that are really more like hotels that just happen to offer affordable medical care. It's not just in Bangkok that you are seeing this trend develop however, we are also seeing it in Singapore.
The best example of this is the recently opened private hospital in Farrer Park. Here we take a look at the newly opened hospital, and the services it offers.
Singapore's newest private hospital
On March 16 the Farrer Park Hospital officially opened it's doors to the public. This new private hospital is conveniently located above the Farrer Park Road MRT station in the new Connexion complex.
With 220 beds, the hospital brings a welcomed boost to the capacity in the area, along with access to a number of new services. According to Asia One, "Farrer Park Hospital is directly connected to the Farrer Park Medical Centre which has 10 floors of suites for medical specialists."
The hospital itself has four inpatient wards and 18 suites. These suites include major surgery, endoscopy, radiation oncology, and more, and are all outfitted with leading technology that allows doctors and staff to offer high-quality medical care.
What sets Farrer Park Hospital apart from other similar hospitals?
There are a number of ways the administrators at Farrer Park are trying to set their hospital apart from others in the region. The first is its unique building and location. As we noted above, the hotel is located above the MRT and part of the Connexion complex which has a variety of clinics and health options along with unique architecture like parks and gardens. But it is the hotel that really sets it apart. The complex is connected to a full-service resort hotel that is being marketed as an alternative place for patients to recover.
This is interesting because this hotel-hospital combo should prove to be quite appealing to medical tourists, especially those who will need multiple doctor visits or a slightly longer recovery time.
The other major thing that appears to set the hospital apart from other similar centers and that is the cost. According to the Straits Times, "The new Farrer Park Hospital (FPH) will aim to offer affordable private healthcare." The article went on to explain that while the hospital won't be the cheapest private hospital in the city, care will be highly affordable and competitive with other similar hospitals.
What can I expect to pay?
As of the publishing of this article, The Farrer Park Hospital website is quoting room rates of:
SGD 196 for a bed in a four-bed suite
SGD 562 for a single bedded suite
SGD 834 for a deluxe suite
This is cheaper than other private hospitals in the City. For example, a bed in a four-bed room at the Glen Eagles costs SGD 259 while the same bed at the Parkway East is SGD 240.
When it comes to actual fees, the Straits Times article mentioned that, "The consultation price for Farrer Park Hospital's emergency clinic will start from a "very reasonable" $60, compared to most other hospitals which charge above $100 for their accident and emergency (A&E) services."
Will health insurance cover care at this hospital?
If you are a Singapore local you will be able to use your MediSave account to cover care at the hospital. The thing to be aware of here is your plan limit. MediSave plans do have limits as to the amount you can claim from care at private facilities. If you go over this limit, you will have to pay for care out of pocket.
For expats and visitors to Singapore, it would be beneficial to secure a robust international health insurance plan including hospitalisation coverage. Insurance plans sold in Singapore should cover care at this hospital but one thing to be aware of, if you have an existing plan, is that it may take a while for this hospital to join the provider's preferred networks. So, if you have a plan that limits care to preferred networks only, you may need to wait a while for insurers to add this hospital to their list. Should you be unsure of whether your insurance plan will cover care at the new hospital, contact us today.