Public vs. private hospitals in Singapore

Singapore consistently tops the charts when it comes to healthcare services provided in both its public and private sector. Before you decide on the best option for you, find out the key differences between the two.

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While citizens and permanent residents (PRs) in Singapore can benefit from subsidised public healthcare, expats are typically excluded from this sector, and therefore may consider going private during their time on the island. The experts from Pacific Prime Singapore offer a quick overview of public vs. private hospitals on the Red Dot.

1.    Wait times

In public hospitals, wait times can be incredibly long – often more than a few hours. It’s also first come, first serve, making wait times vary on a day-to-day basis. Private hospitals, on the other hand, tend to treat patients more quickly and offer appointments for convenience.

2.    Comfort levels

Expect to share rooms with at least three or more people at public hospitals, while private hospitals have modern amenities including single and deluxe rooms. Don’t be surprised if you’re offered a suite with a living room and a Nespresso machine!

3.    Medical staff

Although medical staff in both public and private hospitals are well trained, those in private ones are typically more experienced. They are more likely to have been trained abroad and may be more at ease communicating with foreigners.

4.    Equipment

Likewise, while public hospitals are also home to some cutting-edge medical equipment, private hospitals have more funds to invest in newer and more updated equipment. They also have less bureaucracy to deal with when purchasing equipment.

5.    Subsidised care

There are subsidy programs such as Medisave and others in public hospitals, lowering costs for citizens and PRs. When it comes to private hospitals, there are no such programs and costs are often much higher than public counterparts (even before subsidies). Your bill may be in the tens of thousands!

** If you’ve decided that going private better suits your needs, you should secure a private health insurance plan to save money. Specialising in expat health insurance, with a range of benefits including dental, vision, and maternity, insurance experts at Pacific Prime Singapore can help you compare plans and give you a free quote. Contact them for a chat.