We can agree unanimously that health and medical help is on top of our minds right now.
At a time when health is a priority, it’s good to be aware of how much you can be expected to spend when you step out for a screening. Strangely, though, health screenings in Singapore have a reputation for being costly because we’re used to the narrative that all things medical on our tiny island is expensive. Frankly, the reality is quite the opposite.
There are plenty of healthcare providers offering a myriad of health screening packages in Singapore ranging from truly affordable to unnecessarily extravagant. We uncover some surprising truths about how much health screenings cost in Singapore.
What types of health screenings are there?
Generally speaking, health screenings can be grouped into two types — standalone health screenings that attempt to create a snapshot of a person’s overall health, and medical procedures to screen for specific conditions.
Standalone health screenings are offered in many levels — from a basic health check involving a few factors to comprehensive events that cover more ground and utilise more tests and procedures. Needless to say, the more involved the screening, the costlier the package tends to be.
On the other hand, if you or your healthcare provider wants to focus on a specific condition, you may then undergo a specialised health screening that offers a more in-depth look.
What comprises a health screening?
At its very basic, a health screening should consist of the following:
- A medical health assessment by a qualified physician to discuss potential risks arising from medical history and lifestyle.
- A physical examination that includes taking your height, weight, BMI and testing your vision
- A blood glucose test to ascertain risk of diabetes, which is performed after fasting
- A blood cholesterol test to check for unhealthy cholesterol levels associated heart disease risks
Typical health screening packages go further than the four basis tests above. This is purely with the aim of giving your healthcare provider a more complete picture of your health status. As such, you may encounter additional tests and procedures such as:
- A blood pressure test to check for healthy blood pressure levels
- An ECG (electrocardiogram) to determine if your hearty activity is normal and to detect certain heart conditions
- A full blood count to determine if you suffer from anemia
- A urine analysis to determine proper kidney function
- A chest X-ray to check for lung problems
Where can I go for a health screening?
With Singapore’s highly developed medical services market, it is no surprise that there are plenty of options available to those looking for a health check-up. Generally speaking, there are four channels you can look towards, depending on your needs:
- Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) General Practitioner (GP) clinics
- Private clinics
- Public hospitals
- Private hospitals
How much do health screenings cost at Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) General Practitioner (GP) clinics?
|Cardholder||Cost of Screen For Life at CHAS GP clinics|
|Pioneer Generation (age 71 in 2020)||$0|
|Merdeka Generation (age 61 in 2020)||$2|
|Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) Blue or Orange||$2|
|Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) Green + Eligible Singaporean Citizens||$5|
When discussing health screenings, CHAS GP clinics may spring to mind probably because you’re remembering them for that $5 health checkup campaign that ran not too long ago. Yes, the same Health Promotion Board’s Screen for Life Programme that makes available health screening to eligible Singaporeans for under $5. However, these are for certain conditions only, and are performed according to your age and gender.
Here’s what the Screen for Life Programme specifically covers:
|Age At Screening||Type Of Screening|
|Above age 25 (women only)||Cervical cancer|
|Above age 40||High blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, cervical cancer|
|Above age 50||High blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, breast cancer|
What you should know is that CHAS GP clinics in Singapore do not offer comprehensive health checks. However, you may request screening for specific conditions.
How much do health screenings cost at private clinics?
|Name Of Clinic||Health Screening Packages And Cost|
|Central Clinic||Basic: $48
|SATA Commhealth||Lite: $275
Elite Male: $563
Elite Female: $708
|Fullerton Health||Premium: $468
|Lifescan Medical Centre||General: $180
|Healthway Medical||Classic: $350
Private clinics are another viable source for getting a health screen done, not least because of the very attractive rates some packages are priced at. You can have a full health screen done for as little as $48, although it appears a price range of around $200 to $350 is more typical.
Some clinics may also be perceived to offer a more personal and supportive environment compared to, say, a busy hospital.
Health screening packages for women cost significantly more at at least one clinic, and the more comprehensive the screening (which usually involves more tests), the higher the cost of the package.
If you’re confused as to which package to pick, it’s best to talk to your doctor, who will make recommendations according to your needs and expectations.
How much do health screenings cost at public hospitals?
|Name Of Public Hospital||Health Screening Packages And Cost|
|Ng Teng Fong Hospital||Essential: $88
Enhanced A (Female): $178
Enhanced B: $98
Optional add-ons available
|Tan Tock Seng Hospital||Core: $200
High Cholesterol: $380
High Blood Pressure: $450
Liver Screen for Hep B: $500
High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Cholesterol: $530
|National University Hospital||Basic: $260
High Cholesterol: $310
High Blood Pressure: $360
High Blood Glucose: $370
Hep B: $530
Chronic Disease Management: $420
|Changi General Hospital||Core: $360
Core 50: $380
With an array of services under one roof, hospitals in Singapore can offer a one-stop health screening service. Public hospitals cater to different patient needs by offering screening packages focused on addressing specific conditions.
Once again, we see health screen packages varying widely in price and type, but you can get a basic health screening at a public hospital starting from $88.
Note that some of the packages by public hospitals are competitively priced with those offered at private clinics.
How much do health screenings cost at private hospitals?
|Name Of Private Hospital||Health Screening Packages And Cost|
|Raffles Medical Group||Basic: $74.90
Optional add-ons available
|Mount Alvernia Hospital||Basic 120: $131.60
Basic 150: $164.80
Basic 180: $198
Basic 200: $219.40
Basic 220: $241.80
Basic 240: $263.20
Specialised screenings available
|Farrer Park Hospital||Regular: $350
Select Plus: $790
Pre-marital: $299 ($499/couple)
|Parkway East Hospital||Classic:(M/F) $468/$498
Private hospitals in Singapore have a reputation for providing top-class medical care but at heart-stopping price ranges (but of course). So it was a pleasant surprise to see at least two private hospitals offering medical screening packages that are competitively priced.
We also found tearing up-worthy expensive health screenings, costing the equivalent of a week-long family vacation! Of course, not being medical experts, we cannot comment on the necessity or importance of these super-high-end options. But at these prices, we’re sure we’d come out feeling more than a little faint.
While some screenings may be budget-friendly, treatment costs are likely to be another thing altogether, especially given the hospitals’ private entity status.
How can I offset the costs of my health screenings?
There are a few options you can look at to help bring down the cost of your medical screenings, such as Medisave, insurance and credit cards.
Can I use Medisave to pay for my health screening?
While Medisave can come in handy for a wide number of conditions, you cannot unfortunately use your Medisave to pay for a standalone health screening. This is because Medisave is restricted to specific procedures, each coming with an annual cap.
However, it may be possible to use your Medisave to pay for the procedures you need (such as a colonoscopy or mammogram) as part of routine screening in the course of managing your condition.
Are health screenings covered by insurance plans?
For the majority of Singaporeanes, our health insurance plans come in the form of Medishield Life, or Medishield Life with an Integrated Shield Plan. These plans are meant to provide cover when treatment becomes necessary, and they do not cover standalone health screenings.
However, there are certain specialised health insurance plans by private brokers that include regular health screenings as part of the package. If you’re interested, be sure to carefully check what the health screening covers — to see if it suits your needs.
Which are the best credit cards to pay my health screening bills?
There’s no denying that health screenings can set you back by a few hundred dollars, so choose your cards carefully.
When it comes to big ticket purchases, air miles cards are always a great option. Try using the UOB PRVI Miles Card to earn 1.4 miles per $1 on your health screenings. Another card you can try is the Citi PremierMiles Card, which gives you 1.2 miles per $1.
Another way credit cards can help you with your health screening is via the 0% instalment payment plan, which splits up your bill over several fixed monthly payments — commonly 12 or 24 months. This can help you afford more comprehensive screenings which are often more expensive.
Do bear in mind that not all banks award credit card perks on medical transactions. Some clinics or hospitals may not offer instalment payment plans. To be sure, it’s always best to check with your bank and/or clinic or hospital beforehand.
Read these next:
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By Alevin Chan
An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.