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Public & Private Hospital Treatment Costs in Singapore

Public & Private Hospital Treatment 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. Singapore’s healthcare costs are projected to increase at a faster pace than most countries in the region, between 10% and 15% each year, according to AON.

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

Most Singaporeans are aware of how medical bills can drain out their hard-earned savings. The same concern goes to expats who live in Singapore. For them, the medical care plans, private insurance and the advantage that 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 take a 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 quite costly depending on the part of the body, therefore hospitals rarely publish their rates. The cost estimations below are just the fees to expect, the final professional fees will be decided by the healthcare providers.

Type of scans/tests Public hospital estimated price range Private hospital estimated price range
CT Scan $700 – $2,000 $700 – $2,200
MRI Scan $1000 – $2,700 $1,200 – $5,000
PET Scan $2,000 – $3,000 $2,400 – $6,000
Endoscopic $500 – $1,600 $2,000 – $4,000

Source: Singapore Ministry of Health

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 $7,200 – $8,100 $13,700 – $15,000
Burn debridement $1,700 – $1,900 $5,900 – $6,800
Cataract surgery $4,200 – $6,900 $6,900 – $12,900
Hemorrhoidectomy $2,900 – $3,200 $7,400 – $8,200
Removal of plates, screws or nails $2,200 – $2,400 $7,700 – $9,600
Tonsillectomy $1,000 – $1,100 $3,500 – $5,800

Source: Singapore Ministry of Health

Note: The average bill depends on subsidy, insurance and ward type. These figures are just the fees to expect, the final bill will be decided by the healthcare providers.

  • Appendectomy: surgical procedure to treat the acute inflammation of the appendix due to infection.
  • Arthroscopy: surgical procedures to treat joint problems, most often on 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 it is 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 $5,000 – $8,000 $20,000 – $24,000
Coronary Artery bypass surgery $33,000 – $43,000 $75,000 – $89,000
Inguinal hernia repair $4,000 – $9,000 $14,000 – $23,000
Knee, hip, shoulder or elbow joint replacement $20,000 – $27,000 $35,000 – $42,000
Prostatectomy $26,000 – $27,000 $53,000 – $57,000
Spinal laminectomy $14,900 – $17,200 $31,500 – $38,000

Source: Singapore Ministry of Health

Note: The average bill depends on subsidy, insurance and ward type. These figures are just the fees to expect, the final bill will be decided by the healthcare providers.

  • Appendectomy: 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

Most people are fond of long-lasting love, but when it comes to long-term illness, it is not romantic at all. The physical pain and mental stress suffered by the patient will also be loaded to the family members. It is essential to plan ahead for an adequate health insurance plan to ease the medical financial burden. The most common long term chronic diseases are:

  • Arthritis: an inflammation at the affected joints. Commonly known as Osteoarthritis,
  • Rheumatoid and gout.
  • Cancer: a type of disease caused by abnormal cell growth with the chances 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 as well as 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 $2,500 $6,500
Colorectal cancer $3,000 $4,000
Prostate cancer $1,900 $6,000

Source: Singapore Ministry of Health

Cancer Surgery Public hospital (average bill size) Private hospital (average bill size)
Breast cancer $4,200 $19,000
Colorectal cancer $23,500 $43,000
Prostate cancer $26,500 $53,500

Source: Singapore Ministry of Health

Note: The average bill depends on subsidy, insurance and ward type. These figures are just the fees to expect, the final bill will be decided by the healthcare providers.

Cancer radical treatment

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

Immunotherapy, a more recent method, is even more costly. Each dose of immunotherapy drugs 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 just for a year!

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

It is needless to say that at some point in life, everyone needs health care, 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 subsidy 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 a bit challenging, so you can engage an experienced private insurance advisor who understands your pre-existing condition and will suggest you the best international health insurance plan.

The private expat insurance advisor will save you both time and energy as the professionals have the wealth of experience under their belt 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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