With its international atmosphere and English-speaking populace, Singapore ranks as a very comfortable country to travel to for treatment. Many surgeons have also been trained in the U.S., which is another draw card for many international patients. The quality of medical facilities and technology is on par with any western country. Thus, the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1997 (published in 2000) ranked Singapore’s health system as the sixth best in the world, and the highest ranked in Asia. Per capita, Singapore unquestionably has the most number of JCI accredited medical centres in Asia.
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The medical costs are about half those in the U.S., but considerably more expensive than India or Thailand, two other Asian countries offering comparable service.
Medical tourism is not a new concept in Singapore, in fact; over 200,000 patients choose Singapore for their surgeries and treatments every year. The Singaporean government has realized the potential of the industry, and has for instance recently made significant efforts to expand its biotechnology sector, resulting in a number of cutting edge therapies available at few other places. Some of the healthcare services in which Singapore holds speciality in include cardiology, oncology, neurosugery, prostate cancer, heart valve defect, coronary artery bypass and grafting surgery. Singapore can also present some excellent cancer institutes.
Popular medical procedures in Singapore include knee and hip replacements and cardiac surgeries. Some of the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedures are breast augmentation, liposuction and rhinoplasty.
Due to the sizeable Chinese population, Singapore can also boost numerous alternative medicine clinics offering traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture and herbal treatments are some of the most popular alternative treatments for foreign patients. The city’s various spas offer everything from aromatherapy to hot stone massage to hydrotherapy.
Many patients come to Singapore from the neighbouring countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia. But patient numbers from South Asia, the Middle East, Indochina and Greater China are growing, as well as patients from the U.S. and the U.K. As a tourist destination; Singapore is vastly more expensive than Thailand and India. Therefore many medical tourists stay in the country only for the treatment period, and then arrange the vacation portion of their trip to be spent in nearby Indonesia or Malaysia.
Singapore is the perfect destination for the first time medical traveller. If you want to visit a clean, cosmopolitan city, speak English with anyone from your doctor to your taxi driver, visit a healthcare facility with western standard, and enjoy some relaxing time on the beach during the recovery period; Singapore is a very good choice. However, if you are on a tight budget; you should carefully compare prices to the more competitive Asian counterparts India and Thailand.