Singapore Leads the Way in Asia's Medical Tourism Boom
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Singapore Leads the Way in Asia’s Medical Tourism Boom

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Singapore Leads the Way in Asia’s Medical Tourism Boom

Whether it’s a tummy tuck, liposuction or facial enhancements such as eye bag removal, Singapore is leading the way. In recent years, this tiny republic has become the jewel in the crown of Asia’s medical tourism boom. The reasons are clear. This is a nation that is impeccably clean, it’s very well organized, and it has a reputation for strict laws and superior healthcare. Singapore has also developed as one of the world’s wealthiest countries. It’s a diverse nation made up primarily of a Chinese, Malay and Indian population.

We Speak English

Singapore’s cosmetic surgery industry is open for business. The Singaporeans are well educated and speak very good English. This means there are no communication problems, which is reassuring for western visitors. In actual fact, English is the preferred “science and business” language in the country. This is a nation that has invested heavily in research, science and medicine in all its forms. There are currently more than 22 accredited medical centres in Singapore.

Medical Tourist Demographic

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Singapore has medical tourists visit from all over the world. Up until recent times, the majority came from neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. Because of its world class reputation, Singapore is now seeing a surge in medical tourism from many other parts of the world too.

Some of these include the following:

  • Greater China
  • Indochina
  • South Asia
  • The Middle East
  • The UK
  • The United States
  • Western Europe


People choose Singapore as their choice of medical travel destinations for good reasons. We have the professionalism, affordability, easy access and a clean cosmopolitan city. Knowing that you’re in a safe pair of hands is imperative when it comes to health related treatments.

Popular Medical Treatments

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When it comes to medical care, Singapore can offer treatments for pretty much anything. Here are some of the more popular therapies that medical visitors seek from the country’s skilled doctors:

  • Aesthetic procedures (non-invasive or minimally invasive cosmetic techniques)
  • Heart surgery (such as coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
  • Cosmetic surgery (invasive, permanent)
  • Dentistry in all its forms
  • Eye surgeries (various)
  • Orthopedic surgery (diagnosis, preoperative, operative, postoperative)
  • Stem Cell therapy


The list above shows some of the more popular treatments at the time of writing, but it’s not all there is. Singapore is now taking the lead in areas of more specialist health care. Two of these include stem cell research and therapies and cardiac treatments for women.

The National University Hospital in Singapore opened its first all-purpose clinic for women’s heart health in March 2011. Its primary purpose has an emphasis on preventative measures as well as treatments for cardiovascular disease in women. Furthermore, the skilled staff comprises of an all-woman team, which includes the following:

  • Cardiologist
  • Dieticians
  • Therapists
  • Physiotherapists


Medical Investment

Singapore has also become an attractive place for foreign investment. Since 2001, over 100 foreign biomedical companies and drug producers have set up shop here.

This includes some big names too, like:

  • GlaxoSmithKline Plc
  • Novartis AG
  • Pfizer Inc.


One of the reasons these giants have set up their factories here is because of the strict patent enforcement that Singapore insists on. These things further the intellectual capital of Singapore. They strengthen its position as the foremost healthcare destination of the Asia region.

The Main Attractions

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Singapore’s standing in the world goes from strength to strength. It’s a country with a highly educated workforce and well-behaved population. Crime rate is incredibly low when compared to some of its neighbours. Laws here are not only strict but rigorously enforced. These things and more make it an ideal destination for clean business and visitors who value safety and respect. As far as the medical side of things go, Singapore has a lot going for it, namely:

  • Excellent reputation for using only state-of-the-art equipment and technologies
  • Highly qualified and experienced surgeons (many U.S. trained)
  • Superior health care services and health care facilities
  • Affordable costs


Regarding that last point, Singapore can be a bit more expensive than some other Asian destinations. Still, the medical costs here are considerably lower when compared to western treatments. For example, medical tourists from the US find that our prices to be roughly half that of their US clinics. Singapore also has something else going for it that other countries lack. That is, the clinics and hospitals here tend to offer more opulent patient health care. This goes for both pre and post treatment. A lot of medical tourists find this level of care a great comfort.

The Place for Plastic Surgery in Asia

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In more recent times, Thailand was the number one destination in South East Asia for cosmetic surgical procedures. It has been particularly popular for invasive surgeries. Some Thai doctors have developed individual expertise in specialist areas of certain cosmetic practices. They have certainly had plenty of experience in Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS). And like Singapore, most Thai clinics will also use first-class medical facilities. However, there is a problem with Thailand that just does not exist in Singapore.

There are clinics and doctors in Thailand’s capital who are not qualified or licensed to carry out surgical procedures. For the unsuspecting, everything may appear normal on the face of things. In reality, it could be anything but normal. And if something does go wrong, it can be a long and hard battle trying to get some form of compensation for any botch jobs. These things don’t happen in Singapore. Everything is just too tight for any “hole-in-the-wall” outfits to exist. This sad lack of strict regulation over in Thailand is its major drawback.

It’s important to point out that there’s a lot of good cosmetic surgery and other medical treatment services in Thailand. But it’s also important to know the facts about the sloppy regulation and increased risk of falling into the wrong pair of surgical hands.

Summing Up

Singapore has earned its reputation as a leader in medical tourism, but not because we say so. This reputation has come about by the appraisal of others, namely investors and clients who rate us and our services. So, whether you’re looking for orthopaedic surgeon, a heart specialist, or a little simple eye bag removal, Singapore has a lot to offer.

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