Our last article was about Sebastien BODET’s point of view regarding his job as an osteopath as well as the way it works in Singapore. Osteopath in Singapore and participant in the 2008 Olympic Games in the swimming competition for France, Sébastien had been working in this job in Paris before moving to Singapore. What difference did he notice between the medical system of these 2 countries? Is he comfortable with the way it works here? What advice would he give to someone wanting to move to Singapore to be an osteopath?
What are the main medical differences compared to France?
In Singapore, the appointment booking system takes more time. The online booking system is not as simple as in France where most practitioners use the “ Doctolib “ platform. People here usually book their appointment through more traditional platforms like phone/Whatsapp/message/email.
The administrative process is longer and more complicated in Singapore. As a matter of fact, each insurer has its own claims process, thus its own reimbursement conditions. In Singapore for example, clients sometimes need to go to the GP first to get reimbursed for osteopathy.
The costs are more important in Singapore than in France. One session will cost around 70€ (105 SGD) in France, whereas it is more around 120€ here (180 SGD). However, in Singapore, as there are few osteopaths, it is easier and faster to build a clientbase compared to France.
Are you comfortable with the system here?
I am. It is a whole different system here compared to France. I used to be a freelance worker in Paris and now I work in a multidisciplinary clinic in Singapore. My job remains the same as in France but here the medical sector is more business-oriented. In Singapore, I find it hard to separate work and private life. Clients will seek your help more often. I may receive text messages/WhatsApp late at night or early in the morning for emergencies, appointment bookings, cancelations, people asking for advice, questions about insurance… Frequently, I go beyond just being an osteopath, but considering the price for one session I feel like I have to bring an added value – in any case, helping people to achieve long-term health remains my priority.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to go to Singapore to be an osteopath?
First of all, take a few vacation days here to get familiar with the environment. Afterwards, get informed about the conditions necessary to obtain a work visa. There is no specific regulation regarding the practice of osteopathy in Singapore, but French diploma are simply not acknowledged by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). You have to get the anglo-saxon equivalent in the UK or in Australia and, if possible, get a licence or a Master’s – hence the difficulty to get the visa. Then you have to get familiar with the market and decide whether you want to work in a clinic/with a company or work freelance. Eventually, make your visa request. Most of the osteopaths in Singapore are Anglo-saxons and located in the CBD or nearby. This little market is shared between physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors.
To find out more about healthcare topics in Singapore you can check our articles. To understand how your health insurance plans cover the healthcare costs, you can approach UEX’s happiness team by email for more information and guidance – and the good news is that they are super nice!