The True Cost Of Healthcare In Singapore That Every Singaporean Should Be Aware Of


The above is a phrase all so familiar amongst Singaporeans.

According to a study by AON, the medical inflation rate of Singapore stood at a high 15% in the year 2015 and 10% in the year 2016. Both numbers exceeded the global rate.

source: AON

Most of us Singaporeans grew up knowing that healthcare is expensive, yet, little of us can really put an exact number on those costs and better plan for these unfortunate circumstances.

How expensive is expensive? Enough to wipe out my bank account?

Hospitalisation Bills As A Whole

For a start, we take a look at the average hospital bills that Singaporeans. We derive this number from looking at all the average cost of hospitals in Singapore to give Singaporeans a good range. Do note that we remove hospitals that are more niche in a certain area, such as KK hospital for children and women for better estimation of the general cost.

The chart below shows the average hospital inpatient bill size for public hospitals as of the year 2015. Given our medical cost inflation, each cost needs to be multiplied by 1.1 for higher accuracy of today’s cost.

The average hospital inpatient bill size for private is without a doubt more expensive.

source: Ministry Of Health

Zooming In On The Specifics

Top 5 Reasons Of Hospitalisation For Singaporeans

Singaporeans have a higher chance of getting hospitalised due to these following reasons:

  1. Accident, poisoning and violence
  2. Cancer
  3. Ischaemic heart diseases
  4. Intestinal infectious diseases
  5. Pneumonia

source: Ministry Of Health 

From here, we take a look at the breakdown on some of the costs for cancer and ischaemic heart diseases. The two most common specific diseases affecting Singaporeans.


Every year, 12.7 million people around the world discover they have cancer. 7.6 million people will die from the disease. Every day, 36 Singaporeans will be told the bad news of them having cancer, making cancer the number one killer in Singapore.

Despite, cancer being the number one killer in Singapore, information on the average cost of treatment is not easily available online. We can, however, give a good estimation of S$100k-S$200k in terms of cost per year, assuming a patient in the later stage of cancer. The exact cost will ultimately depend on the types of drugs used for the treatment and the procedures.

If one is diagnosed with lungs cancer with complications, the chance of hospitalisation is higher. Each stay can last from 9-14 days and cost up to S$16,000 if one chooses A Ward, or S$3,000 for C Ward.

Should one decides to get some of the best private treatment in Singapore, we take a look at Johns Hopkins. The average hospitalisation bill for Johns Hopkins is at S$22,357, with 10% of the patients paying S$62,686 and more.

Ischaemic Heart Diseases

An ischaemic heart disease is a condition where blood vessels are narrowed or blocked due to the deposition of cholesterol on their walls.

One such treatment will be the procedure to enlarge a narrowing in a heart vessel with a stent. According to Ministry Of Health’s past records, the cost can range from S$4,087 to S$12,657 for B2 Ward, depending on the hospital.

A Ward can range from S$15,744 to S$35,976 for the same treatment.


The median income of Singaporeans is at S$4,056. Which means if your monthly salary is higher than S$4,056, you are earning higher than half of Singapore’s population.

Assuming, after contribution to CPF, your take home will be at S$3,244 monthly, S$38,928 each year. Assuming zero insurance, MediShield Life or Medisave deduction from your hospital bills. Do you think it is possible to handle those costs we just mentioned?

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