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Hospitalisation costs in Singapore

Singapore is well-known as one of the most efficient and widespread healthcare systems, but also for the rising cost of hospital bills. According to AON, Singapore's healthcare costs are projected to increase faster than most countries in the region, between 10% and 15% each year. 

All insurers agree that medical fees such as surgery costs are the main reason for price inflation. Other components contributing to inflation are endoscopic exams, drugs and medications, and ward types.

Most Singaporeans know how medical bills can drain their hard-earned savings. The same concern goes for foreign expats living in Singapore. The medical care plans, private insurance, and the advantage they can reap depend on their immigration status.

To help you to get an idea of the expected hospital treatment cost between public hospitals and private hospitals in Singapore, here are some references for the most common conditions and illnesses.

The diagnostic scan and test

To begin with, we look at the average charges for the diagnostic procedures, for which people often get unpleasant surprises. Doctors will advise the patient to get X-rays such as MRI scan, PET Scan, or Endoscopic for further investigation if needed.

These scans and tests can be pretty costly depending on the part of the body. Therefore hospitals rarely publish their rates. The cost estimations below are the fees to expect without any subsidy. The final bill will fluctuate based on your healthcare providers and insurance coverage.

Type of scans/tests Public hospital estimated price range Private hospital estimated price range
CT Scan $800 - $2,100 $2,300 - $3,000
MRI Scan $1,100 - $2,800 $4,500 - $5,000
PET Scan $2,100 - $3,000 $2,300 - $3,000
Endoscopic $2,200 - $4,100 $570 - $7,000

Source: Singapore Ministry of Health
*Public hospital fees based on unsubsidized, inclusive of GST

Common minor and major surgeries

The comparisons in this section aim to provide an overview of the medical care usually needed by expats, namely:

Outpatient surgery cost (minor surgery)

Type of minor surgery Public hospital (estimated price range) Private hospital (estimated price range)
Arthroscopy Not enough data $27,864 - $32,506
Burn debridement $7,300 - $8,200 $6,000 - $6,900
Cataract surgery $6,412 - $8,477 $9,747 - $16,674
Hemorrhoidectomy $3,034 - $3,556 $7,379 - $11,499
Removal of plates, screws, or nails $2,300 - $2,500 $7,800 - $9,700
Tonsillectomy $4,054 - $6,286 $11,354 - $13,799

Source: Singapore Ministry of Health
*Not enough data: The bill information for this procedure is not published as there were less than 10 cases for each ward type.

Note: The average bill depends on subsidy, insurance, and ward type. These figures are on an unsubsidized basis. The final bill will fluctuate based on your healthcare providers and insurance coverage.

  • Appendectomy: a surgical procedure to treat the acute inflammation of the appendix due to infection.
  • Arthroscopy: surgical procedures to treat joint problems, most often on the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, or wrist.
  • Burn debridement: removal of dead, damaged, or infected tissue from a wound or burn.
  • Cataract surgery: removal of the cloudy lens and replacement with a clear artificial lens.
  • Hemorrhoidectomy: removal of hemorrhoids which are distended veins in the lower anus.
  • Removal of plates and screws or nails: removal of certain metal implants when necessary.
  • Tonsillectomy: removal of the tonsil at the back of the mouth.

Inpatient surgery cost (major surgery)

Type of major surgery Public hospital (estimated price range) Private hospital (estimated price range)
Appendectomy $6,670 - $7,707 $19,688 - $25,324
Coronary Artery bypass surgery $33,100 - $43,100 $75,100 - $89,100
Inguinal hernia repair $7,789 - $10,630 $18,350 - $23,560
Knee, hip, shoulder, or elbow joint replacement $30,203 - $37,050 $53,702 - $67,270
Prostatectomy $26,462 - $28,812 $48,086 - $60,380
Spinal laminectomy $17,200 - $26,100 $31,600 - $38,100

Source: Singapore Ministry of Health

Note: The average bill depends on subsidy, insurance, and ward type. The average bill depends on subsidy, insurance, and ward type. These figures are on an unsubsidized basis. The final bill will fluctuate based on your healthcare providers and insurance coverage. coverage.

  • Appendectomy: a surgical procedure to treat the acute inflammation of the appendix due to infection.
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery: commonly called bypass surgery.
  • Inguinal hernia repair: operation to push the intestine back to its position and repair the problem in the abdominal wall.
  • Knee, hip, shoulder, or elbow joint replacement
  • Prostatectomy: removal of all or part of the prostate gland.
  • Spinal laminectomy: operation to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves, disk problem.

Long-term illness treatment

Long-term illness is on no one's bucket list, but unfortunately, it happens. It is essential to have an adequate health insurance plan to ease the financial burden due to medical bills. The most common long-term chronic diseases are:

  • Arthritis: inflammation at the affected joints. Commonly known as Osteoarthritis,
  • Rheumatoid and gout.
  • Cancer: a type of disease caused by abnormal cell growth with the chance to spread to
  • others parts of the body
  • Diabetes: a condition that happens when the body is unable to regulate the amount of glucose in the blood.
  • Heart diseases: a disorder condition affect the heart and blood vessels.
  • Pneumonia: an inflammation of the lungs commonly caused by an infection.
  • Stroke: a brain-damaged caused by poor blood flow to the brain.

Let's take cancer treatment as an example to look at the average treatment cost. Cancer treatment will involve biopsies, surgery, and radical treatment, and the cost varies according to the type of cancer.

Cancer Biopsies Public hospital (average bill size) Private hospital (average bill size)
Breast cancer $3,135 $7,787
Colorectal cancer $3,100 $4,100
Prostate cancer $3,820 $8,850

Source: Singapore Ministry of Health

Cancer Surgery Public hospital (average bill size) Private hospital (average bill size)
Breast cancer $10,875 $23,259
Colorectal cancer $23,600 $43,100
Prostate cancer $27,370 $54,435

Source: Singapore Ministry of Health

Note: The average bill depends on subsidy, insurance, and ward type. These figures are on an unsubsidized basis. The final bill will fluctuate based on your healthcare providers and insurance coverage.

Cancer radical treatment

Common types of radical treatments for cancer are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. The expected amount of treatment depends on the type of cancer and how frequently you need treatment. For instance, chemotherapy will cost roughly $1,500 per cycle, and the doctor will advise on how many cycles the patient needs.

Immunotherapy, a more recent method, is even more costly. Each dose of immunotherapy drug can cost approximately $9,000. Usually, the dose is administered every two to three weeks; the calculator will fume with rage because the average treatment cost can range between S$156,000 and S$234,000 for a year!

So what's next? Help in getting the best healthcare plan

Needless to say, everyone needs health care at some point in life, but you need some help to avoid forking out excess cash from your savings. It is a fact that individuals having medical insurance coverage receive much better medical and personal treatment from renowned hospitals.

As an expat with limited healthcare subsidies in your country of residence, it is important to protect yourself and your family with an ideal medical insurance coverage plan to avoid burning a hole in your pocket. Finding the right medical insurance policy is challenging, so you can engage an experienced private insurance advisor who understands your pre-existing condition and will suggest the best international health insurance plan.

The private expat insurance advisor will save you both time and energy as the professionals have a wealth of experience to guide you on your international medical insurance plan.

Get in touch with BLACAZ. and speak with our experts. We would recommend you bespoke health insurance policy that matches your particular requirements.

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