Healthcare Is Expensive in Singapore

11 Reasons Why Healthcare Is Expensive in Singapore

Healthcare is expensive in Singapore, many people know that, but that’s thanks to the world-class healthcare system and advanced medical technology. However, the cost of healthcare in the country is among the highest in the world. In this article, we will explore eleven key reasons behind the high healthcare costs in Singapore and provide some insights on how patients can mitigate these expenses.

We have divided the points into 3 categories:

Singaporean government
Expatriates side

Singapourian Government

1. High Cost of Labor
The cost of labor, particularly for medical professionals such as doctors and nurses, is considerably higher in Singapore. The salaries and benefits required to attract and retain qualified healthcare professionals contribute to the overall cost of healthcare. Furthermore, the shortage of healthcare professionals in Singapore amplifies the demand for foreign talent, which adds to the already high labor costs.

2. Mitigating Healthcare Costs
Patients can take certain steps to mitigate healthcare costs in Singapore. Choosing the right healthcare provider that offers quality care at a reasonable price is essential. Patients should also explore government subsidies available for specific healthcare services, which can significantly reduce their expenses. Additionally, purchasing suitable insurance coverage can provide financial protection against high healthcare costs.

3. Government Regulations and Policies
While the Singapore government has implemented policies to manage healthcare costs, the effectiveness of these measures is still subject to debate. Healthcare financing policies, price regulations for medical services and drugs, and healthcare insurance policies all influence the cost of healthcare in the country. Striking a balance between cost control and ensuring quality care remains a challenge for policymakers.

4. Aging Population and Chronic Diseases
Singapore has an aging population with increased life expectancy, leading to a higher prevalence of chronic diseases. The care and management of chronic diseases, as well as the long-term care needed for the elderly, incur significant healthcare costs. The healthcare system must allocate resources to address the specific needs of this aging population, further contributing to the overall cost of healthcare.

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5. High Cost of Medical Technology
Advanced medical equipment and technology contribute significantly to explain why the healthcare is expensive in Singapore. The cost of acquiring and maintaining state-of-the-art medical technology, as well as the research and development expenses, are passed on to patients through higher healthcare fees. Additionally, the high demand for advanced medical procedures further drives up the utilization and cost of medical technology.

6. Growing Private Healthcare Sector
The expansion of the private healthcare sector in Singapore has led to the establishment of private hospitals and clinics. While offering additional choices for patients, this growth has also seen a shift towards profit-driven healthcare incorporation of state-of-the-art technologies and treatments translates into higher healthcare costs, as patients bear the expenses associated with these advancements.

7. High-Quality Healthcare
Singapore’s healthcare system is characterized by state-of-the-art medical facilities equipped with advanced technologies. Medical professionals in Singapore undergo extensive training and possess diverse expertise in various medical specialties. The emphasis on delivering high-quality healthcare contributes to the higher costs associated with medical services.

8. Innovation and Technological Advancements
Innovation and technological advancements contribute significantly to the high cost of healthcare in Singapore. The country’s emphasis on pioneering medical breakthroughs and adopting the latest innovations leads to expensive research and development processes. The incorporation of state-of-the-art technologies and treatments translates into higher healthcare costs, as patients bear the expenses associated with these advancements.

9. Experience Levels between Doctors
In Singapore, patients often have the option to choose between seeing a junior or a senior doctor. The medical system in Singapore places value on experience and years of practice, which can result in higher fees for consultations with more senior doctors.

Expatriates Side

10. Medical Tourism
Singapore’s reputation as a medical tourism place attracts patients from around the world seeking high-quality medical services. The demand from medical tourists contributes to the overall utilization of healthcare facilities, resulting in increased healthcare costs. Providers focus on catering to the needs of medical tourists, which can lead to higher service charges and competition among healthcare providers, further driving up costs.

11. No Subsidized Rates for Expatriates
While Singapore citizens and permanent residents benefit from subsidized healthcare services in public hospitals, expatriates do not have access to these subsidies, this is one of the reasons why healthcare is expensive in Singapore. As a result, expatriates face higher rates when seeking medical care in public healthcare facilities. It is advisable for expatriates to consider purchasing private health insurance to manage their healthcare expenses



There are multiple factors contributing to the high cost of healthcare in Singapore. The interplay of private and public sectors, the absence of subsidized rates for expatriates, varying doctor experience levels, high-quality healthcare infrastructure, location-based cost disparities, government regulations, medical tourism, the growing private sector, administrative costs, expensive medications and treatments, the aging population, and ongoing innovation all play a role in driving healthcare expenses. While Singapore’s healthcare system is known for its quality and innovation, addressing the rising costs is crucial to ensure accessible and affordable healthcare for all individuals. Patients can take proactive measures, such as selecting providers wisely, leveraging subsidies, and obtaining appropriate insurance coverage, to manage and mitigate their healthcare expenses.

By choosing insurance plans that suit their needs, individuals can effectively manage healthcare costs and gain access to comprehensive healthcare services. It is essential to carefully review insurance policies, understand the coverage limits, and select plans that align with specific healthcare requirements. Moreover, staying informed about the coverage details, including network hospitals, clinics, and preferred providers, can further optimize the benefits of insurance coverage.

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