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How to choose between private and public hospitals in Singapore?

25 Jul 2018

It is not always easy to choose your hospital in emergency before an operation, this article gives you the solutions to make your choice. Including private hospitals in your insurance policy has a definite impact on the price of your coverage, while public hospitals in the little red dot also offer excellent quality of healthcare minus the extra comfort and luxury. It’s not necessary to go to private ones to be properly covered. Let us enlighten you on the differences between private and public hospitals in Singapore.

Care and support

Care is excellent in both public and private hospitals in Singapore. However, some differences remain.

You will obtain an appointment the same day or the next day in a private hospital whereas it will be necessary to wait 3 to 6 days in the public.

At the emergency, pick-up time can be much longer at peak hours for public hospitals. Private hospitals are less crowded, so you will be taken care of much faster.

If you need to be transported by ambulance to be treated, private hospitals can arrange everything for you. In a public hospital, you will have to manage the booking of an ambulance yourself.

Rooms and meals

About the rooms, there are two main points to take in consideration. First of all, in public hospitals, according to your type of room, you might need to share it with other patients.

Secondly, private hospitals have more modern equipment. This leads to a better comfort for the patient and their family.

You can also choose a private room in a public hospital, these rooms have however less equipment than on private ones.

For more details, see our article on Types of Hospital Rooms in Singapore.

The quality of the meals is quite acceptable in the public and you can even choose your menu. In the private sector you will have access to a wide variety of menus and top-of-the-range cuisine.

Be careful with the price of the room per night, some insurances cap this amount.

Personnel and equipment

Medical staff are highly qualified in Singapore, no major differences between public and private. NUH doctors (public) are for some of the top professors and researchers at the university, if your case is rare or difficult it is probably useful to have the elite professionals on hand.

The lower attendance of private hospitals may make nurses more available but the difference is not noticeable, medical staff are also very available and responsive in public hospitals.

Regarding medical equipment, public hospitals have the advantage, their scale allows them to access the latest technologies. For an operation that requires state-of-the-art technology, orient yourself towards the public.

The location

One criterion that really seems important to us is location. In case of emergency the speed of care and in the first place the time of transport is key for your health, a hospital close to your home is therefore very important.

For a scheduled operation, you will need to go to the hospital regularly for various pre- and post-operative examinations. But also for your follow-up in the months after your operation. A hospital close to your home or your workplace is therefore a serious time saver.

Find the hospital best located for you with our map of all Singapore hospitals and our detailed list of Singapore hospitals.

The cost

As you will have understood, private hospitals are a luxury in Singapore and the price suffers.

The average price difference between public and private is 70%.

Find all the details on the price of care in Singapore in our article:

How much does hospitalization in Singapore cost?

Most insurance include private insurance by default in your coverage. This choice has an impact on the price of your policy, do not hesitate to make a simulation via our tool of personalization which makes it possible to choose to include the private or not. Finally, you can avoid advancing the costs of your hospitalization. Check which hospitals are eligible for a letter of guarantee from your insurance company.

How to choose between private and public hospitals?

Everything depends on your priorities but 3 criteria seem essential to us: the care delay, the location and the price.

Start by locating the hospitals closest to your home with our map. Then make a simulation of the insurance price including public or private hospitals on our application. If the price difference is negligible for you, take into account the other criteria mentioned in this article. If you are still in doubt, our UEX advisors are available by phone or chat to answer all your questions.

To find out more about healthcare topics in Singapore you can check our articles. To understand, how your health insurance plans cover healthcare costs, you can approach UEX‘s happiness team byemail or by phone for more information and guidance – and the good news is that they are super nice!

With UEX, you can obtain a quote for a health insurance contract customized to your needs and requirements – all in less than a minute!


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