The average person doesn’t think of exotic travel to places like Singapore at the same time they are considering major surgery. That’s a mistake. Singapore is actually the 4th most popular destination for medical tourism in the world. While many medical tourists come to Singapore from neighboring countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, there are over 20 JCI-certified* medical facilities attracting patients from all over the world.
In 2012 an estimated 610,000 medical tourists traveled to Singapore. In 2013 such travelers accounted for $1.74 million (Singapore dollars) in spending. The reason for those numbers, which are expected to increase 30% or more every year through at least 2017, is the combination of low cost and high quality care. Costs for popular procedures and diagnostic testing can be 40-50% less than in countries like the US. However, those lower price tags don’t result in lower quality care. In fact, the World Health Organization ranks healthcare in Singapore at #6 in the world, compared to the US which ranks #36.
* Joint Commission International, which evaluates and rates medical facilities around the world
Surgeries, Treatments, & Procedures Available in Singapore
Singapore is one of the top destinations in the world for cancer diagnosis and care. In fact, many patients come to Singapore for tests that are either too expensive or simply not available in their home country. Armed with a definitive diagnosis, they then return home for treatment. John Hopkins International Medical Centre in Singapore does provide world-class treatment for cancer and other diseases.
Plastic surgery is also a popular attraction in Asia. Patients can get a non-surgical facelift, botox treatment, or other procedure and then recover in world-class seaside spas.
Surgeries and diagnostic tests for ophthalmology, neurology, orthopedics, dermatology, and cardiology are also available throughout the country. As is a variety of weight loss treatments, including bariatric surgery. Some patients travel to Singapore for organ transplant, fertility treatments, dental procedures and surgery and holistic, alternative, or Ayurvedic treatments.
Top Destinations in Singapore
Over 80 airlines bring travelers to Singapore from more than 180 cities in 50 countries. The attractions go beyond the pristine medical facilities. A thriving island city-state, Singapore offers food, shopping, scenic views, and countless other attractions to entertain and occupy those recovering from surgery as well as the loved ones who accompany them.
Those recovering from surgery or other medical procedures will need to follow their doctors restrictions on activity, but will likely be able to enjoy attractions like the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore Zoo, and Singapore Night Safari. They may also want to check out the MacRitchie Nature Trail, the Juroung Birdpark, or stroll along the Waterfront Promenade.
Food has long been a main draw of foreigners to Singapore, as the country offers a mixture of Eastern and Western cuisines that reflect its cultural history and diversity. Shopping is also a major activity, with the city providing traditional markets as well as modern malls filled with designer wares.
Those choosing to depart the main city, can move inland to nature parks, reservoirs, and rivers or head to Sentosa Island, only 500 meters south of the city. Sentosa offers soothing beaches, spas, a golf club, and even an aquarium and water park.
Singapore appeals to the cultural traveler too. It offers historic monuments, museums, and numerous art galleries. There is a mixture of ancient and modern architecture to explore and numerous performance venues offering music, dance, theater, and other events.