Expats In Singapore – Is The Singapore Medical System The Best In The World?

Singapore Medical System

There is little doubt that expats in Singapore are aware of how well-developed the country’s medical system is. It is classed as being in the top-tier of global health care systems with standards of care that are a force to be reckoned with.

Unique government approach

Governments of individual countries across the world certainly have different views on how health care should be administered. For many it is basic free care, others have world-class facilities that cost patients world class prices.

In some countries it is mandatory for citizens to have some form of health insurance. It is also understandable why expat health insurance cover is a necessity.

There is little doubt that governments throughout the world are struggling to maintain affordable health care in the face of runaway costs and ageing populations.

Since the 2011 elections in Singapore the government has taken a unique approach to health care. It differs from the private insurance-based model of the USA and is a long way from the state-funded system the UK offers.

It can best be classed as a hybrid model. It combines government subsidies with patient co-payments. The result for health care in the country is a system that ranks amongst the best in the world with relatively low cost to the government.

By taking out health insurance cover, expats in Singapore can avail of the services offered.

Roll-out of healthcare financing options

From 2012 the Singapore government have rolled out a number of healthcare financing options. These include:

  • A “pioneer generation” package: This is aimed at helping the elderly meet increasing medical costs

  • The community health assist scheme: Provides additional subsidies for those in lower to middle-income households

  • Expansion of the Medishield Life coverage: This is a national health insurance scheme providing lifelong protection for all Singaporeans as well as permanent residents. It includes those with pre-existing conditions and those above 90-years old.

Shared costs/responsibility

Paying for health care in Singapore is seen as a shared responsibility between the government and individuals. The government apply subsidies of up to 80% of health care costs while co-payment of the remaining amount is made by the patient or their families.

What does this mean to Expats in Singapore

Those expats in South-East Asia who have taken out permanent residency in Singapore will join the Medishield scheme. This will also apply to their wives and siblings of Singaporean nationality.

However, the majority of expats in Singapore would be very wise to take out personal (or family) international health insurance cover. Failure to take out such a policy will prove very costly if health treatment is required.

By taking out such cover you are ensuring treatment costs will largely be met in the event medical attention is needed.

Co-payment health insurance schemes

For expats in Singapore, co-payment clauses are something they should consider carefully. As explained above, co-payment means that you pay a percentage of any health care required and your chosen international health insurance provider pays the lions share.

World leaders in healthcare = World leading health insurance

Expats in Singapore are fortunate in terms of the world-class facilities and staff expertise available. To take full advantage of such sterling health care they have a wide choice of providers and policy levels to choose from.

To ensure the most appropriate health cover available is taken out it is recommended that expats in Singapore avail of services offered by a knowledgeable health insurance broker operating in the region.

The benefits of doing so are many and varied, not least in terms of time saved trying to decipher and compare the many options available to you.

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