Singapore is a distinctive country, which allows it to stand apart from other medical tourism destinations. It is located of the southern tip of the Mayan Peninsula and is only 85 miles north of the equator. It is the smallest country in Southeast Asia and the only Asian nation that speaks English as a primary language. Singapore became a colony of Britain in 1824, and Britain contributed to making it significantly more developed and westernized than its neighbors. Globally, Singapore is the fifth wealthiest by GDP (PPP) per capita and is the 23rd wealthiest in the world by normal GDP per capita.
Singapore is ranked as the sixth best health system in the world according to The World Health Organization. It is even recognized for having a higher health system comparing to the United States and Canada.
It is estimated that over 400,000 patients flock to Singapore for surgeries every year. Hospitals and clinics in Singapore are used to treating foreign patients. Listed below is the average number of medical tourists on official surveys: 210,000 patients in 2002, 230,000 in 2003, 320,000 in 2004, 374,000 in 2005 and 410,000 in 2006. It doubled in five years.
Popular medical procedures include hip and knee replacements and cardiac surgeries. Singapore has a number of hospitals and clinics that provide cosmetic surgery. For example, there is a specific clinic in Singapore that specializes in breast surgery while others provide laser hair removal, liposuction and rhinoplasty. Other popular surgical procedures are: orthopedic surgeries, cardiac surgeries, and cancer treatments. Alternative medicine, such as acupuncture and herbal treatments, are also offered in Singapore, given that there is a significant Chinese population. In addition, there are many spas and health resorts in the clean cosmopolitan city.
The majority of Singapore’s medical tourists come from the US and the UK. There are growing companies that organize medical tourist travel packages to Singapore. In addition, there are a number of patients that arrive from neighboring countries, such as Indochina and Malaysia. There is also a growing number of patients coming from the Middle East and Greater China.
Singapore is recognized for its cleanliness, both as a country as well as in medical facilities (Discover Medical Tourism). It is known for its high-grade level of hygiene in public establishments, such as spas, hospitals and restaurants. It is cosmopolitan country where getting around is easy. Long an English colony, Singapore includes English as one of its official languages. Unlike many other medical tourist destinations that require interpreters that go between patients and medical staff, all of Singapore’s medical personnel are fluent. Patients traveling to Singapore are not as likely of experiencing a culture shock as they would from other medical tourist destinations. Singapore is highly urbanized and westernized, and allows patients to make an easy transition.
Quality of care—Singapore is known for its modern equipment and renowned surgeons, many of whom have studied in the US. Since English is a primary language in Singapore, patients have the opportunity to speak to the medical staff without the need for an interpreter. If guests get sick while staying in Singapore, they are well taken care for. In addition to high standards of care, Singapore is equipped with many spas, beaches and forests. There are many recuperating institutions as well.
Accreditation—All of Singapore’s health institutions are monitored by the Singapore Heath Promotion Board, the Singapore Laboratory Accreditation System (SINGLAS), the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC) and the Ministry of Health. In addition, many health institutions are authorized by international regulation organizations. The medical staff at hospitals and clinics are also monitored by the Singapore Medical Council, the Singapore Nursing Board, the Singapore Dental Board, the Pharmacy Board and the Laboratory Board.
Medical implements are monitored by The Health Sciences Authority and the Singapore Accreditation Council. In 2006, it is recorded that 29 hospitals and specialty centers are equipped for specifically treating medical tourists. Such centers received global accreditation from the Joint Commission International (JCI), the ISO and the OHSAS.
Benefit of Traveling—Singapore is known for being quite cosmopolitan and clean. There are remarkable oriental styled restaurants and ornamentation. Singapore even has a Chinatown and Little India. Little India in particular is known as the best place to enjoy curry outside of India itself. There are also renowned Hindu temples, beaches, parks and forests.
While Singapore’s price for procedures are much cheaper than those in the US, it is still considerably more expensive than Thailand and India.
Singapore’s climate is quite hot and humid, which may be disagreeable to some travelers.
The prices for transportation and other accommodations is more expensive than other Asian countries.
It can be difficult for travelers from Europe and the US to adjust to the time difference.
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