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Understanding Singapore Healthcare System

Updated: May 19

Singapore Healthcare System

Do you know Singapore has one of the lowest healthcare costs among the developed nations? Singapore healthcare system ranked among the best in the world, and these are reasons for it. From high quality healthcare service, well-trained healthcare professionals, cost efficiency to widespread availability.

The healthcare system comprised of both public and private healthcare. The government plays a central role in funding and regulating the system. In 2022, Singapore ranks 10th in World Index of Health Care Innovation. While ranking 8th for healthiest countries in Bloomberg Global Health Index (2023)[1].

What’s so interesting about public healthcare system in Singapore?

The public healthcare system in Singapore is overseen by the Ministry of Health (MOH). [2]The MOH is in charge of funding, planning, and regulating the public healthcare system. The public healthcare system in Singapore comprises of public hospitals[3], polyclinics and community health centres. The hospitals are the main providers of inpatient care. While the polyclinics and community health centres provide outpatient care.

Polyclinics are large government-run clinical facilities that are located throughout Singapore. They are typically staffed by 10 to 15 general practitioners (GPs) and offer a range of services. Services include general consultations, minor surgery, diagnostic tests, prescription of medications and referrals to specialists. Polyclinics charge a highly subsidized fee for their services.

Community Health Centres (CHCs) are also government-run facilities, located in specific communities. CHCs offer a wider range of services than polyclinics. This includes chronic disease management, health promotion and education, and social support services.

The public healthcare system in Singapore offers extensive career opportunities, and employs a large number of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and allied health professionals. There are healthcare jobs opportunities for non-clinical professionals to work in the public healthcare system as well. e.g. Administration, Finance, and IT.

The average bonus for employees in the public healthcare system in Singapore is about 1.5 months of their base salary. This can vary depending on the employee's position, experience, and performance.

Nurses typically receive 1 to 3 months of their base salary as bonus, while doctors can receive up to 3 months of their base salary as bonus. In 2022, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced a special payment of between 1.7 and 2.1 months for nurses serving in the public healthcare clusters. This payment was made in recognition of the hard work and contributions of nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Private healthcare

The private healthcare system in Singapore is not funded by the government. Patients who use private healthcare facilities are responsible for the full cost of it. It's typically via private insurance or individuals who are able to afford very large out of pocket payments.

The private healthcare system in Singapore is made up of a wide range of hospitals, clinics, and medical specialists. The private healthcare system is more expensive than the public healthcare system, but it offers a wider range of services and amenities. Some of the biggest private hospitals include Farrer Park Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Parkway East Hospital, Raffles Hospital and etc.

The private healthcare system in Singapore employs a large number of healthcare professionals as well. Part of the success for Singapore private healthcare sector is due to Singapore establishing itself as a premier healthcare hub since the 1980s.

Career opportunities

The healthcare sector in Singapore is growing rapidly. The government has set a target of making Singapore a "health city" by 2030, and the sector is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8% over the next decade. For job seekers, you will be able to observe plenty of healthcare related and nursing jobs in Singapore.

If you are interested in a career in healthcare, there are a number of things you can do to prepare. You can get a degree in a healthcare-related field, such as medicine, nursing, or pharmacy. You can also get certified in a specific healthcare profession, such as a registered nurse or a certified nursing assistant. This will help you in mid career switch. There are a few healthcare organisations in Singapore that offer career conversion programme, e.g. National Healthcare Group (NHG) and Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

Once you have the necessary qualifications, you can start looking for a job in the healthcare sector. You can search for jobs online via a healthcare career portal, or you can contact healthcare organizations directly.

The healthcare industry offers a rewarding career future. If you are passionate about helping others, and looking for a career that is in high demand, then a career in healthcare may be right for you. With an ageing growing population, growing demand from medical tourists and a focus on preventive care, the demand for healthcare professionals is expected to grow in the years to come.

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