Whether it's a high fever that's kept you up all night or a bone that you think might be broken, you've likely asked yourself: do I need to go to the emergency room? In some cases, Hospital Accident and Emergency (A&E) is the appropriate place to go for treatment, but in many other instances, it is actually better to seek out timely and quality care at a 24-hour general practitioner (GP) clinic. Read ahead to learn the differences between a hospital A&E and 24-hour clinic, from costs to care.
Table of Contents
- 24-Hour Clinics in Singapore
- 24-Hour Clinic Fees and Other Costs
- When To Go To A 24-Hour GP Clinic
24-Hour Clinics in Singapore
There are more than1,800 GP clinicsin Singapore that provide a range of medical services from outpatient medical treatment to health screening and education. Of these, a few are clinics that are open 24 hours of the day, much like a hospital A&E would be. But unlike a hospital A&E, 24-hour clinics are equipped to holistically address your and your family's health in addition to treating minor emergencies.
|Examples of 24-Hour Clinic Healthcare Services|
|Outpatient Medical Treatment||Coughs, colds, headaches, minor burns, strains|
|Minor Surgical Procedures||Wound dressing, drainage of abscess|
|Diagnosis & Prevention of Chronic Diseases||Hypertension, diabetes, stroke, asthma, anxiety|
|Women, Men and Child's Health||Pap smear, STD/HIV screening, maternity care, male pattern baldness|
|Vaccinations||H1N1, tetanus, childhood vaccination|
|Health Screening and Education||Blood count, clinical measurements, lipid profiles, urinalysis|
Above all, your GP clinic is designed to assist you with the management of chronic health issues and prevention of illness and disease. Instead of waiting for a health concern to arise (that would require the attention of a hospital A&E), you can save money and your health by being proactive and seeking care from a clinic.
24-Hour Clinic Fees and Other Costs
When you visit a 24-hour clinic, you will have to pay a consultation fee to see a doctor for your medical issue. As a rule of thumb, consultation fees do not include tests, treatment, referrals or medicine. Below, we've compared the consultation fee of a lower budget 24-hour clinic to a higher budget 24 hr clinic.
|Time||Raffles 24 Hour Clinic||Mount Alverna 24 Hour Clinic|
|Weekdays||Monday to Friday||Monday to Saturday|
|8 am to 6 pm||S$27.82||S$66.34|
|6 pm to 12 am||S$40.66||S$80.25|
|12 am to 8 am||S$ 69.55||S$96.30|
|Weekends||Saturday & Sunday||Only Sunday|
|8 am to 6 pm||S$40.66||S$80.25|
|6 pm to 12 am||S$40.66||S$80.25|
|12 am to 8 am||S$ 69.55||S$96.30|
|8 am to 6 pm||S$40.66||S$90.95|
|6 pm to 12 am||S$40.66||S$90.95|
|12 am to 8 am||S$69.55||S$108.07|
Figures represent a minimum charge to the patient for standard consultations. Please refer to clinic websites for further costs, like extended consultations and practice costs.
As shown by the two examples above, a clinic consultation fee varies from S$20 to more than S$120. This fee greatly depends on the certification of your general practitioner, duration of the consultation, and the time of day and week that you seek out medical services. For example, Mount Alverna's standard consultation fee increased by almost 92% for an extended consultation after midnight on a public holiday, while 24-Hours Raffles Medical Clinic saw a 150% increase for the same.
While Singaporeans are covered by Medishield Life, this basic health insurance scheme is designed to cover large hospital bills and costly outpatient treatments in public hospitals, not medical expenses from private GP 24-hour clinics. However, some private health insurers have a panel of GP clinics which can help to offset a pricey consultation fee.
Similarly, you may qualify for government subsidies that assist you with the upfront costs of some private practice health services, like chronic disease management or dental care. For instance, under the Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP), you can use your MediSave account to cover15% of the copaymentfor the treatment of a chronic illness at a 24-hour clinic.
When To Go To A 24-Hour GP Clinic
Before you decide to go to the emergency room for your injury or illness, you should first consider the urgency of your condition. It's best to go to a 24-hour clinic if you can determine that your health issue isnot life-threatening.
For example, maybe you've slammed a door on your finger and are dealing with the onset of swelling and pain. While uncomfortable, this injury would likely not be considered a medical emergency. However, if you want a professional opinion or treatment, your best option is a 24-hour clinic where your general practitioner can treat your wound in-house and direct you to a specialist for further care, if needed.
For more informationon where to find your nearest local 24-hour clinic, please visitthe Ministry of Health website.
Hospital A&E in Singapore
A&E hospital visits should be reservedfor accidents and emergencies only. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's recommended that you do not visit the hospital for non-urgent conditions, so as to conserve resources for those who are facinglife-threatening medical issues. In fact, if the hospital A&E determines that your sickness or injury does not require immediate care, then they will likely ask you to wait or redirect you to a clinic for treatment.
A&E Charges and Other Fees
In case of an emergency, you'll be directed to yournearest public hospital, in which high medical expenses will be covered by MediShield Life (not including the ambulance) or your private health insurance. Further, you can expect an A&E fee that covers your doctor's consultation, nursing care and treatment, basic tests, and standard medication up to one week's supply.
|Hospital Name||A&E Fee|
|KK Women's & Childrens Hospital||S$120|
|Tan Tock Seng Hospital||S$128|
|Singapore General Hospital||S$128|
|Changi General Hospital||S$126|
|Of Teng Fong General Hospital||S$127|
|National University Hospital||S$128|
|Khoo Teck Puat Hospital||S$128|
For some cases without a clear cut A&E fee, you may be charged a specialist consultation fee that depends on the credentials of your doctor, much like a 24-hour clinic. Additionally, you will find varying rates that depend on your citizenship status and whether you are eligible for government subsidies. In general, Singaporean citizens will be charged the lowest consultation fees.
For a first-time consultation, senior consultants (average cost of S$143.64) charge almost 40% more than associate consultants (average cost of S$104.87), and 15% more than a regular consultant (average cost of S$124.90). Similarly, first consultations are less costly than a second or third consultation, which is considered a repeat or follow up meeting with your medical consultant. For example, a first consultation with an associate medical provider is about 32% more costly than the following consultations with the same provider.
Private Hospital Doctors' Inpatient Attendance Fee Per Visit
|General Ward||S$200 to S$300||S$300 to S$400|
|High Dependency Unit||S$250 to S$350||S$350 to S$500|
|Low Intensive Care Unit (ICU)||S$300 to S$450||S$450 to S$600|
Sourced from the Ministry of Health. Attendance fee applies to doctors after hour rates, as well.
For inpatient treatment at a private hospital, a visit from your private hospital doctor will cost you at least S$200 per visit. If you are set up in a general ward, then you can expect to pay between S$200 to $400 for a doctor's visit. On the other hand, you will see a 50% increase in doctor's inpatient attendance fees if your condition requires you to stay in the ICU.
Lastly, if you are going to the hospital for a high priority condition, it is likely that you would stay overnight and receive inpatient treatment. The cost per day to stay in a public or private ward can also add up. For instance, a C ward in a public hospital may only cost between S$33 to S$45 per day, but if you were to upgrade to an A ward, you'd see daily costsbetween S$303 and S$534. Private hospital wards charge much higher rates between S$240 and as much as S$10,000 for a single night.
While an emergency trip to a hospital A&E can be costly, your total out-of-pocket expenses are greatly influenced by your health insurance plan. By upgrading your health insurance with anIntegrated Shield Plan, you can gain access to unsubsidised, private hospitals and ward types like B1 and A in restructured hospitals, as well as a wider range of coverage for pre- and post-hospitalisation costs.
When To Go To A&E
While hospitals can provide you with similar services as a clinic, like blood tests and minor surgeries, an Accident and Emergency centre will only see you if you are considered ahigh priority case. Medical priority is organized into four levels, with P1 considered the utmost important and P4 considered non-urgent.
A&E Priority Levels
|Classification||Example Medical Conditions|
|Priority 1 (P1)||Resuscitation & Critically-Ill Patients||Heart attack, severe injuries and bleeding, shock, severe asthma attack|
|Priority 2 (P2)||Major Emergencies (Cannot Walk)||Major limb fracture or dislocation, moderate injuries, severe abdominal pain|
|Priority 3 (P1)||Minor Emergencies (Can Walk)||Sprains, minor injuries, minor abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, rashes, and mile headaches|
|Priority 4 (P4)||Non-Emergency||Chronic joint pains or skin rash, long-term nasal discharge, old scars, cataracts, removal of tattoos and sore throats|
Priority levels and example conditions were sourced from Singapore General Hospital website.
Non-emergencies like an old, chronic injury will be considered the lowest priority (P4), while conditions like a heart attack or stroke are considered the highest priority (P1). If your medical status falls into a P3 or P4 classification, it's recommended that you seek treatment at a 24-hour GP clinic, rather than a A&E hospital centre.
Should You Go To A 24-Hour Clinic Or A&E Hospital?
Even though 24-hour clinics and hospital A and E centres have some overlap, they prioritize very different health concerns and services. The choice between a 24-hour clinic and hospital A&E service comes down to the severity of your medical condition. If you are facing a life-threatening medical condition that would fall into priority level P1 or P2, then you should go to an emergency room. But, if you can determine that your condition is not critical and would likely fall into level P3 or P4, then you should visit your local 24-hour clinic for a diagnosis and treatment.
If costs are a significant factor in determining your course of health services, you can consider different methods to save money. Some medical services from a 24-hour GP clinic are covered bypersonal accident plansand MediSave. On the other hand, MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plans can help you offset the high costs of hospital bills and treatment from an A&E. Singaporeans who have financial difficulties even after utilising MediShield Life or MediSave can apply for assistance fromMedifundafter speaking to a social worker at the hospital.
- Best Health Insurance in Singapore
- How to Find the Best Health Insurance
- Average Cost and Benefits of Health Insurance
- Guide to Finding the Best Hospital in Singapore
|General Practitioner (GP)||Specialists|
|In-office consultation fees|
|Short Consultation (up to 10 mins)||$20 - $30||$60 - $100|
|Long Consultation (11 to 20 mins)||$30 - $55||$90 - $150|
|Extended Consultation (per 10 mins)||$20 - $25||$50 - $80|
Seek emergency treatment at hospitals only if your condition becomes serious or life-threatening. We are seeing a high number of patients at our Emergency Department (A&E). Priority will be given to those who are critically ill.How much is a doctor visit without insurance in Singapore? ›
While Singapore citizens and permanent residents can expect to pay between $39 to $59 for an initial visit to a specialist outpatient doctor, for example, private patients (or expats) can pay up to $150.Can foreigners go to public hospital in Singapore? ›
Locals and foreigners are free to choose any medical facility either public or private for treatment or consultation. Accident and Emergency Departments that are open 24/7 at the governmental hospitals are responsible in emergency cases.Is medical care in Singapore expensive? ›
Put simply, healthcare in Singapore is expensive for the region, but not as much as you would be expected to pay in the US. It's also no surprise, given how the demographics in Singapore have changed over the years and hospitals invest heavily in medical technology to draw in medical tourists from abroad.How much is medical fees for foreigners in Singapore? ›
The average cost of a health insurance plan for foreigners varies with age, lifestyle factors, and medical history. For a 45-year-old non-smoker, the average cost of an Integrated Shield Plan in Singapore is S$132. However, for 75-year olds, the average cost in premiums ranges from S$69 to S$1,063.How much is the emergency fee in Singapore? ›
Good news: dialing 995 for an ambulance is free – in the case of a true emergency. However, if the patient's status is later assessed as non-emergency by the doctor at the Emergency Department, $274 will be charged for each non-emergency case that the SCDF ferries to the hospital.How long do you stay in A&E? ›
The NHS has a '4 Hour A&E Target' – for emergency care. This is known as '4 Hours'. It states 95% of emergency patients should be seen, treated if necessary, and either discharged or admitted, within four hours from arrival at A&E.How long is the average stay in hospital in Singapore? ›
The mean length of hospital stay was 4.64 ± 8.31 days. On average, patients had a mean LACE score of 5.59 ± 2.77.Do foreigners get free healthcare in Singapore? ›
In short: They can't. In Singapore, only citizens and permanent residents – known as PRs – are covered by public healthcare. The term “permanent resident” means something different in Singapore than it does in Europe, where permanent residency is relatively easy to apply for.
Should you face difficulties in paying your medical bills after utilising other means of payments such as MediShield Life, MediSave and Private Medical Insurance, you may apply for financial assistance. Financial assistance for payment of subsidised medical bills is available for Singapore Citizens only.What is the disadvantage of Singapore healthcare system? ›
There isn't much to complain about Singapore's healthcare system apart from the fact that healthcare isn't free and expats and digital nomads can't access public subsidy schemes. Other disadvantages include a reliance on institutions, expensive long-term care costs, and long hospital wait times.How can I see a doctor in Singapore as a tourist? ›
If you're a tourist in Singapore ad would like to speak to a medical professional connected to an international network of doctors, you can make an appointment on the Air Doctor app right now and have an in-person or virtual consultation within minutes.Do I need health insurance to enter Singapore? ›
It is mandatory for non-fully vaccinated short-term visitors entering Singapore to purchase travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage.Why is healthcare so expensive in Singapore? ›
As you might have understood so far, health care is costly for expatriates in Singapore. This is partially due to the fact that medical facilities are outfitted with top-notch equipment and some of the most advanced technologies available in medicine.
|Home Care Services||Price Starting From|
|Home Therapy||Starting from $36.20/per visit Effective 1 July 2022|
|Interim Caregiver Service||Starting from $355.20/per 6-days shift Effective 1 July 2022|
|Home Personal Care||Starting from $7.40/per hour Effective 1 October 2022|
The Economist Intelligence Unit placed Singapore 2nd out of 166 countries for health-care outcomes. Bloomberg Global Health Index of 163 countries ranked Singapore the 4th healthiest country in the world. This superb level of healthcare means that Singaporeans enjoy an extremely high standard of living.How much does healthcare cost in Singapore compared to the US? ›
The U.S. health expenses are nearly three times higher than in Singapore.Can foreigners buy medicine in Singapore? ›
Foreign prescriptions are not valid in Singapore. You will need to visit a doctor in Singapore to receive a new prescription.How much is a hospital stay in Singapore? ›
|Ward Class||Private Patients|
|Resident Foreigner/ Non-Resident||$528||$315|
|||Estimated Average Daily Hospital Bill Size (with Government Subsidy)||Deposit Amount (with or without Medisave)|
|Rehabilitation||S$198 – S$466|| Waived |
|Sub-Acute Care||S$201 – S$553|
|IHPCS - Cat 1||S$233 – S$576|
|IHPCS - Cat 2a/b||S$207 – S$688|
Both public and private healthcare in Singapore are subject to government regulations. Singaporeans enjoy universal healthcare – meaning the public health system and mandatory health insurance is funded by the government. Patients can access care in public facilities with ease – but public healthcare is not free.Do you have to pay for ambulance Singapore? ›
Is ambulance free in Singapore? If you are facing an emergency, the SCDF emergency ambulance that conveys you to a hospital will be free. However, for non-emergency cases, SCDF charges $274.What is considered medical emergency Singapore? ›
Call 995 For Emergencies Only
In a life-threatening emergency, every second counts. You can make a difference between life and death by knowing what is an emergency. For life-threatening cases such as cardiac arrest, active seizures, breathlessness, major traumas and stroke, call 995.
The filming took place over 28 days using 70 fixed cameras and is the largest documentary series Channel 4 has ever made. The series enables viewers to see the challenges that A&E staff face as they treat the patients that come through the doors every day.What is a Type 3 A&E? ›
03. Other type of A&E/minor injury ACTIVITY with designated accommodation for the reception of emergency care PATIENTS. The department may be doctor led, GENERAL PRACTITIONER led or NURSE led and treats at least minor injuries and illnesses and can be routinely accessed without APPOINTMENT.Can someone stay with you in A&E? ›
Outpatient appointments and the emergency department
If you have an appointment at one of our hospitals or community sites, or need to go to the emergency department (A&E), you can bring someone with you for support. Read more about what to expect if you have an outpatient appointment.
A heart bypass surgery is a costly treatment for treating coronary artery disease and due to its complexity, it is one of the most expensive hospital procedures in Singapore. In fact, the median cost of a coronary bypass surgery at a private hospital is S$75,398.Is surgery expensive in Singapore? ›
In short: The average bill for surgical specialities in private hospitals can be $8,109 to $18,993. Without insurance, these are the sort of the hospitalisation costs you'll need to bear.How much does ICU cost per day Singapore? ›
|Type of Accommodations||Class of Ward Accommodation (S$)|
|Day Surgery Centre / Endoscopy Centre / Invasive Cardiac Lab Daily Room Charge|
|Private (S$)||Subsidised (S$)|
Singapore heavily regulates the number of physicians, and it has some control over salaries as well. The country uses bulk purchasing power to spend less on drugs. The most frustrating part about Singapore is that, as an example, it's easily misused by those who want to see their own health care systems change.What is the difference between inpatient and outpatient in Singapore? ›
What is the difference between outpatient and inpatient insurance in Singapore? Outpatient care includes doctor-related fees and tests. On the other hand, inpatient care includes other hospital fees, such as surgeries, a serious illness that requires admission at the hospital overnight, etc.How do I pay my hospital bill in Singapore? ›
Payment can be made via NETS and Visa/Mastercard credit cards through the OneNUHS mobile application (download via Google Play or App Store). This opens in a new window. If you are unable to use the OneNUHS app, you may also pay your bills online at https://eservices.healthhub.sg/payments.Can you refuse medical treatment in Singapore? ›
The presumption in law and medical practice is that all adults have capacity to consent or refuse treatment, unless proven otherwise. The clinician must not consider the person to be lacking capacity until all relevant medical information regarding the patient's illness and treatment has been given to the latter.What happens if you don't pay hospital bill in India? ›
State and Others case in 2016, the High Court of Delhi, with a bench consisting of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Deepa Sharma, passed an order clearly stating, “If bills are not paid, then release the patient. You cannot keep patients hostage.What are the weaknesses of Singapore? ›
Weaknesses: Falling exports in an export-focused country
Singapore's economy relies heavily on the exportation of goods to various countries, but especially to the United States. This breeds trouble. If the economy in these countries were to suffer, by proxy, so would Singapore's.
Singapore ranks 10th in the 2022 World Index of Health Care Innovation, up from 12th in 2021 and down from 7th in 2020. Singapore's overall performance was driven by high scores for Choice (12th) as well as strong research universities and top-notch digital health care.How much is health insurance in Singapore? ›
How much does health insurance cost in Singapore? On average, an individual and family in Singapore will need to fork out US$6,265 and US$17,803 for premiums, respectively, according to Pacific Prime's latest Cost of Health Insurance Report 2021-22 (COHI).What is the average wait time to see a doctor in Singapore? ›
Figures for March showed that on a national level, the median wait to see a doctor was 18 minutes. This is close to 30 per cent longer than median waiting times of 14 minutes for the whole of last year, as well as 2015. Median waiting times had otherwise been trending downwards from 18 minutes in 2014.How can I get medicine in Singapore? ›
- Book a teleconsult with a doctor. ...
- Attend your teleconsultation from the comfort of your home and request the doctor for an online prescription after that.
- The doctor will provide you with an electronic prescription.
Singapore has world-class hospitals and clinics that offer a wide range of medical procedures and treatments. There are several reasons why people choose to come to Singapore for medical care, including the high quality of care, the relatively low cost of care, and the convenient location.Is insurance required for Singapore tourist visa? ›
Is travel insurance mandatory for travelling to Singapore? Travel insurance is not mandatory when you are travelling to Singapore when you are fully vaccinated. However, travel insurance with a health cover of $30,000 is mandatory if you are not fully vaccinated.What insurance is compulsory in Singapore? ›
MediShield Life is a basic health insurance plan that protects all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents against large hospital bills for life, regardless of age or health condition.Do I need insurance to drive in Singapore? ›
All vehicles must have motor insurance coverage to be used in Singapore. It is a requirement for your vehicle to be insured for the entire road tax renewal period before its road tax can be renewed. The insurance must at least cover third-party liability for deaths and bodily injury.Is medical treatment expensive in Singapore? ›
Put simply, healthcare in Singapore is expensive for the region, but not as much as you would be expected to pay in the US. It's also no surprise, given how the demographics in Singapore have changed over the years and hospitals invest heavily in medical technology to draw in medical tourists from abroad.What is the most expensive country in the world for healthcare? ›
As our chart illustrates, U.S. per-capita healthcare spending (including public and private as well as compulsory and voluntary spending) is higher than anywhere else in the world, with second-placed Germany trailing quite far behind. On average, healthcare costs in the U.S. amounted up to $12,318 per person in 2021.Who has the best quality healthcare in the world? ›
- United Kingdom.
Both public and private healthcare in Singapore are subject to government regulations. Singaporeans enjoy universal healthcare – meaning the public health system and mandatory health insurance is funded by the government. Patients can access care in public facilities with ease – but public healthcare is not free.How much does hospital cost in Singapore? ›
|Ward Class||Private Patients|
|Resident Foreigner/ Non-Resident||$528||$315|
|Features||National University of Singapore||Nanyang University of Technology|
|Program Duration||5 years Singaporeans, 6 Years Singapore PRs and International Students||5 years|
|Annual Program Fees (in SGD)||$61,850||$70,500|
|QS World University Subject Ranking 2022||21||93|
Singapore's healthcare system consists of a public sector that provides heavily subsidized or free primary care to natives, and a private one. While locals and Permanent Residents (PR) are protected by mandatory health insurance, most expats not under a company plan must pay out-of-pocket.What are the disadvantages of healthcare in Singapore? ›
There isn't much to complain about Singapore's healthcare system apart from the fact that healthcare isn't free and expats and digital nomads can't access public subsidy schemes. Other disadvantages include a reliance on institutions, expensive long-term care costs, and long hospital wait times.How do I get admitted to a hospital in Singapore? ›
For scheduled procedures or non-emergency services, hospital admission is by appointment with a reference letter from a local registered physician. All hospitals need a guarantee of payment and your identification (passport) before you will be admitted. Bring a deposit or insurance form.How good is medicine in Singapore? ›
MBBS in Singapore is a 5 year degree offered by only two universities. The program is offered by National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University with both ranked among the top 5 universities in Asia by Qs Rankings 2023. For medicine, NUS is placed in the #21st position while NTU ranks #93 by QS.