At a Glance - Singapore

Singapore Feature, medical jobs, culture

Fraser Clarke

It can be difficult to know where to start when planning a move overseas, especially if you aren’t fully sure where your future could lie. 

That’s why our latest Odyssey Exclusive series ‘At a Glance’ will help provide you with a quick overview of each location we work with, to help you decide if a move to the country could be worth pursuing.

Article Five - Singapore

Where is it?

Singapore is located 6,700 miles from London at the southern tip of Malaysia. At just 719km2 it’s tiny in size, yet is still home to more than 5.5 million people.

Regular flights are available from London (and other major European hubs) with an average travel time of around 13 hours. Flights to Dubai take just over seven hours, whilst it can be the ideal place to explore Asia with flights to Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and India all well priced making them perfect for short breaks.

How is Healthcare Structured?

Singapore is home to one of the world’s best structured and most successful healthcare systems, with its unique hybrid model proving the ideal middle-ground between traditional public and private sectors.

As with all modern countries the system is split into public and private, but that is where the similarities end. Patients are free to choose the providers they use within the public and private systems, and are also allowed to go into any clinic or hospital, public or privately owned, and ask for a consultation.

That isn’t the biggest difference however, which comes in the model used to fund care. Unlike many other countries no medical service is provided in Singapore free of charge. A nationalised health insurance scheme called ‘Medisave’ is operated and, under this, employees contribute between 8 and 10% of their salary every month to their account. The savings accumulated in this account can then be used to pay for treatment for the employee and his immediate family.

Patients care is subsidised by the government, but this subsidy is means tested depending on the wealth of the individual. The figure rises from a 50% subsidy for citizens (40% for permanent residents) to 80% (or 70% for permanent residents). Non permanent residents need private insurance and cover, as they don’t receive a subsidy. Often this is provided by the individual’s employers.

This system should ensure that healthcare in the country is never underfunded, but also that everyone has access to services within their financial reach. 

What will I need?

Singapore is an extremely popular location with medics seeking a greater challenge overseas, and as a result the country sets extremely high standards. These will vary on a job-by-job basis, but most employers will look for:

  • American Board Certification or UK CCST
  • GMC Specialist Registration
  • A minimum five years post certification experience
  • Fluency in English
  • Evidence of skill development (courses, seminars, research interests)

What are the positives?

  • Great public transport system
  • High quality hospitals and clinics
  • Highly motivating working environment
  • Modern accommodation
  • Large expat community
  • Plenty of attractions

What are the negatives?

  • Private cars are extortionately priced
  • A busy working environment
  • High rise living isn’t for everyone
  • Expensive school fees and a high cost of living 

For job alerts from Singapore simply register on our website today. A dream move could be far closer than you might imagine.