Medical practice in Singapore is of a very high standard and is the best within the Southeast Asian region
It is important to learn how to respond to emergencies and how to call for assistance. Leave all important numbers in a prominent place at home, a great place is on your fridge. If you have a domestic helper, you need to instruct her how to respond in an emergency, where to call and what to say.
Medicine in Singapore is modelled on the British system and doctors have standard compulsory University/Hospital training. Many of the Specialists are trained in the USA, UK and Australia.
Specialist referral by a general practitioner (GP) is not a requirement in Singapore; however, it is preferable to have a GP with access to X-ray/Pathology who can recommend the appropriate specialists. Insurance companies often require a referral to a specialist from a GP.
It is a good idea to have details of past medical history, including vaccinations, when seeing your GP for the first time.
Medications are readily available in Singapore and most GP practices dispense these at the clinic – alternatively a prescription may be issued for dispensing at a pharmacy as in some other countries. The brand name may be different, so it is helpful to take this or the generic name with you for the visit.
It is useful to know company arrangements for Insurance/Payment prior to arrival as the hospital will ask how you are paying. Details of your insurance cover should be kept at hand.
Accident & Emergency (A&E) Departments at the hospitals are open 24 hours and have access to “on-call” specialists. They can be more expensive and very busy, and should be used only for emergency care. In the event a sick or injured person requires assistance by ambulance to a hospital, try to understand if that person is insured on an expat insurance health plan and if so, contact a private ambulance service first, as a public service such as the Singapore Civil Defence Ambulance Service will take the person to the nearest public hospital only and not the private hospital of your choice.
Private ambulance (Heng-Gref)
Singapore Civil Defence ambulance
Please note that 995 for emergencies will call the government ambulance that takes you to the nearest government hospital A&E Department. You may then request transfer to a hospital of your choice.
To go to a private hospital phone the A&E department of that hospital and you can request an ambulance to take you there. Generally the ambulances drive at the same speed as the traffic, and may not run their sirens. If the person can walk it may be quicker to go by car or taxi. Paramedic services are also available.
Major medical evacuation services represented in Singapore are:
Global Assistance & Healthcare
1800 621 1105
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