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Singapore is a small island and city-state located in Southeast Asia, around 137 km north of the equator. It is located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, west of Indonesia and east of Malaysia. The city-state consists of the main island of Singapore and 62 smaller islands surrounding it. Singapore is crossed by the equator and is located in a humid tropical climate with average temperatures in the region of 30°C all year round. The city-state is also famous for its harbor, which is one of the largest and busiest in the world, as well as for its well-kept parks and gardens which cover more than a third of the main island.
  • Population: 5.454 million in 2021
  • Area: 728.6 km2
  • Currency: Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  • Official languages: Mandarin, English, Malay and Tamil

Sistema sanitario

Discover how the Singapore healthcare system works

Singapore has an excellent healthcare system: the quality of care and facilities is very good and people even come from all over Asia to be treated there. The Singapore system, based essentially on individual responsibility, is very efficient and represents a true global benchmark.

It is built around 4 programs:

-           Medifund: basic health insurance for the least affluent.

-           Medisave: mandatory coverage that works through the deduction of a portion of the citizen's salary that is then deposited in a bank account to allow them to self-finance their medical expenses.

-           Medishield: non-mandatory health insurance that tops up the Medisave scheme to finance medical expenses incurred in the treatment of very serious diseases.

-           Medishield Plus: an insurance scheme that partially reimburses medical expenses in the private system.

It is very difficult to become a permanent resident but, if you are, you can enroll in these programs by contacting the Central Provident Fund Board (C.P.F). However, if you are an expatriate, it is highly recommended that you take out private international health insurance.


Healthcare formalities for expatriates

Healthcare formalities for expatriates
In Singapore, visa policies are fairly flexible and allow many expatriates, especially EU citizens, to enter and stay for up to three months without a visa. For expatriates from countries requiring a visa, they can obtain an entry or business visa from the embassy of their country of residence. However, it’s important to note that all visitors must have a return airline ticket and proof of sufficient funds for the duration of the stay.

If an expatriate wishes to live and work in Singapore for a long period, they will need to apply for a renewable long-term residence permit (the Long-Term Visit Pass or LTVP). There are different types of permits and passes depending on the level of qualification and remuneration.

Generally speaking, it is highly recommended that you take out international health insurance before moving to Singapore to avoid high medical expenses and have access to healthcare providers who speak your language and understand your specific needs as an expatriate.

Visiting a doctor

It is possible to see a doctor without an appointment in the many medical centers in Singapore.

The price of a consultation with a general practitioner is around 40 to 100 SGD (25 to 62 euros) and for a specialist around 180 SGD (125 euros). All medical staff speak English.


Being admitted to hospital

It should be noted that some public hospitals have special facilities for foreign nationals. The price of care is quite reasonable in the public sector but it is much higher in the private sector.

You will often be asked to pay your hospital fees in cash so you should opt for hospitals belonging to the medical network operated by your international health insurer and where you can benefit from direct billing.

Buying medication

In Singapore, it is possible to get medicines directly from the doctor, right after the consultation. Pharmacies that dispense non-prescription medicines are often located in supermarkets and there are also duty pharmacies in every hospital. Prescriptions from foreign doctors cannot be used in Singapore and pharmacies require a prescription from a doctor with a local license. Patients should bring foreign prescriptions (preferably translated into English) when visiting a local doctor to obtain the required prescription.

Vaccinations to be carried out

Vaccinations to be carried out

There are no mandatory vaccinations for travel to Singapore but it is recommended that you are up to date with the following:
  • Vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers coming from countries where this disease is endemic.
  • Vaccination against hepatitis A is recommended for all travelers.
  • Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended for travelers who may be exposed to bodily fluids, such as healthcare professionals or people who have unprotected sex.
  • Vaccination against diphtheria and tetanus is recommended for all travelers.

It is advisable to consult a doctor or healthcare professional before traveling abroad for specific health recommendations for your destination and personal situation.

Health risks

Overall, Singapore is a relatively safe country in terms of health, with high medical standards and a well-developed healthcare system. However, as in any country, there are some health risks that visitors and residents should be aware of:
  • Dengue: a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Visitors should take steps to avoid mosquito bites, including wearing long clothes and using insect repellent.
  • Water-borne diseases: Singapore has high-quality tap water, but it’s advisable to take extra precautions when drinking water outside of hotels and restaurants.
  • Respiratory infections: Singapore can experience spikes in air pollution, especially during the forest fire season in the region. People with respiratory diseases may be more sensitive to these periods of pollution.
  • Food infections: care should be taken when eating raw or undercooked food as this can lead to food infections. On the other hand, the water is safe to drink more or less everywhere.

In general, travelers to Singapore can take simple steps to minimize health risks, including by following basic health and hygiene guidelines.

Good to know

Emergency services and useful numbers:
  • Police: 999
  • Fire and ambulance: 995
  • Medical emergencies: 995

Official name: Republic of Singapore 
Main cities : Singapore
Type of state: Unitary parliamentary republic
Capital : Singapore
Commonly spoken languages: Mandarin, English, Malay and Tamil

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Storia: mi sono svegliata e MSH era lì

Rachel vive in Togo ed è assicurata con MSH dal 2002. Dopo un intervento chirurgico di routine è entrata in coma per 2 mesi. Il suo ricovero è costato più di 200.000 euro, ma è stato interamente pagato da MSH, senza che lei dovesse fare nulla. Grazie alla reattività del nostro team e alla buona gestione della situazione, la famiglia di Rachel non ha avuto ulteriori stress, così come Rachel quando si è svegliata.
Storia: un secondo parere

Petra era molto preoccupata per un intervento chirurgico che le era stato prescritto dopo un infortunio domestico. Prima di prendere una decisione però voleva sentire un secondo parere. Grazie alla sua assicurazione sanitaria privata, che prevedeva una garanzia per secondo parere medico, è stata rapidamente visitata da un altro medico e ha ottenuto tutte le risposte alle sue domande. Il secondo medico concordava sulla necessità di intervenire chirurgicamente e Petra si è sottoposta all’operazione in ospedale con maggiore sicurezza e tranquillità.
Storia: la decisione giusta

Bill risiede in Brasile con la sua famiglia. Insoddisfatto del suo assicuratore, a dicembre del 2015 è passato a MSH: “Una delle decisioni migliori che io abbia preso da quando sono qui” dice “per il livello di servizio, oltre che per l’ampiezza e la qualità della rete”. La tessera assicurativa di Bill è ora riconosciuta dai migliori e maggiori ospedali di San Paolo. Usufruisce anche del terzo pagante per semplici esami medici, senza necessità di previa presa in carico: “MSH semplifica la vita” dice Bill.
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