Singapore is the next big mantra in the ever evolving landscape of the global medical tourism industry. Singapore is no longer just the leisure or business destination it used to be till a few decades ago. With a population of about 5 million, a strong workforce of skilled doctors and some of the best state-of-the-art hospitals in Asia, Singapore is fast positioning itself as a global medical tourism hub. Approximately 250,000 overseas patients visit Singapore per year and the hospitals are aiming to increase the numbers manifold. The plan is to serve over 2 million international patients annually and generate USD 5 billion in revenue.
Medical tourism can be broadly defined as the service of providing cost effective private medical care packages in collaboration with the tourism industry for international patients requiring surgical and other forms of specialized intervention. Typically this kind of medical care is not available in the patient’s home country or is priced too high. Singapore’s healthcare services are built on a foundation of world class quality, hygiene, safety and trustworthiness. This is coupled with advanced research facilities and international accreditation. The medical sector gets sustained support from the government agencies and this helps make Singapore one of Asia’s leading medical hubs. Over the last few years eleven hospitals and medical centres in Singapore have obtained Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation. Quite a few of them are ISO-9001-2000 certified too.
Patients visiting Singapore mostly originate from neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and Burma. However, in the last decade the patient numbers from India, China, the Middle East and Africa have been witnessing an accelerated growth. Many patients from developed countries such as United States and Europe have been choosing Singapore as their preferred medical travel destination for its relatively affordable quality and yet hassle free healthcare services in a clean cosmopolitan atmosphere. Singapore has been making news for many complex and innovative procedures such as the separation of a pair of conjoined twins and the case of a, ‘tooth in eye surgery’ a few years back. The successful separation of the 10 month old Nepalese conjoined twins in 2001 put Singapore’s medical acumen onto the world’s newspaper front pages. Singapore has since accomplished many more milestones both in Asia and in the world stage.
In the year 2006 many Singapore Hospitals initiated the process of getting accredited themselves through the Joint Commission International (JCI), a US-based organization. This could be a reason why in 2006 JCI thought it would be prudent to set up its Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. Soon Singapore hospitals may starting looking towards other American or European or Asian-based systems of hospital accreditation in an attempt to enhance their brand equity.
Some top Singapore based hospitals are as follows:-
1) Changi General Hospital:
This medical care provider is one of the largest hospitals in Singapore. Its present infrastructure at Simei was established in the year 1998. It was formed as a result of coming together of two well known hospital brands, the Toa Payoh hospital and the Changi hospital. The hospital can therefore trace its roots back to year 1957, when the Thomson Road Hospital had started its construction.
2) Alexandra Hospital:
This founded operations in the year 1938, this hospital served as one of the primary hospitals for the British Empire in the far east and was known as the British Military Hospital. After the World War II ended and even till the early 1970s, Alexandra went onto remain as one of the most modern and well maintained hospitals in Singapore.
3) National University Hospital:
The NUH is a hospital in Singapore that lies in the vicinity of the medical faculty of National University of Singapore at Kent Ridge. Besides being a professional teaching hospital for the university, it also acts as a well equipped research centre. This hospital specializes in Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Ophthalmology among other specialties.
4) eMenders Singapore:
eMenders is a group of Singapore-based doctors, medical practitioners and surgeons representing more than 25 different branches of medicine and dentistry
5) National Cancer Centre Singapore:
The National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) is a regional and national centre focused at the prevention, management and treatment of different cancers including those involving the skin, lung, breast, stomach, uterus, liver, pancreas, lymphomas and head and neck cancers.
6) Raffles hospital:
Raffles Hospital is a leading medical group and one of the largest private group practice in Singapore operating a network of over 78 multidisciplinary clinics across Singapore. Raffles Hospital is JCI accredited.