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Hospital and Medical Tourism in Singapore
Singapore is the next big mantra in the ever-evolving landscape of the global medical tourism industry. Singapore is not just the leisure or business destination it used to be until a few decades ago. With a population of around 5 million, a strong workforce of qualified doctors and some of the best state-of-the-art hospitals in Asia, Singapore is quickly positioning itself as a global medical tourism hub. About 250,000 overseas patients visit Singapore every year and hospitals are aiming to increase their number. The plan is to serve more than 2 million international patients annually and generate USD 5 billion in revenue.
Medical tourism can be broadly defined as the service of providing effective private medical care packages in collaboration with the tourism industry for international patients requiring surgery and other forms of specialized intervention. Typically this type of medical care is not available in the patient’s home country or is too expensive. Singapore’s healthcare services are built on a foundation of world-class quality, hygiene, safety and reliability. This is coupled with advanced research facilities and international accreditation. The medical sector receives sustained support from government agencies and this helps make Singapore one of the leading medical centers in Asia. Over the past few years, eleven hospitals and medical centers in Singapore have obtained Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation. Some of them are also ISO-9001-2000 certified.
Patients who visit Singapore mainly come from neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and Burma. However, in the last decade, the number of patients from India, China, Middle East and Africa has witnessed an accelerated growth. Many patients from developing countries such as the United States and Europe have chosen 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 made news for many complex and innovative procedures such as the separation of a pair of twins together and a case, ‘teeth in the eye surgery’ a few years back. The successful separation of 10-month-old Nepalese twins in 2001 put Singapore’s medical prowess on the front pages of world newspapers. Singapore has accomplished many more milestones both in Asia and on the world stage.
In 2006, many Singapore Hospitals began the process of receiving their accreditation through the Joint Commission International (JCI), an organization based in the United States. This could be a reason why in 2006 JCI thought it would be prudent to establish its Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. Soon Singapore hospitals may start looking towards other American or European or Asian-based hospital accreditation systems in an attempt to improve their brand equity.
Some hospitals based in Singapore are as follows:-
1) Changi General Hospital:
This medical care provider is one of the largest hospitals in Singapore. Its current infrastructure in Simei was established in 1998. It was formed as a result of the coming together of two well-known brand hospitals, the Toa Payoh hospital and the Changi hospital. Therefore, the hospital can trace its roots back to the year 1957, when the Thomson Road Hospital began its construction.
2) Alexandra Hospital:
This operation was founded in 1938, this hospital served as one of the main hospitals for the British Empire in the Far East and was known as the British Military Hospital. After the end of World War II and even until the early 1970s, Alexandra continued to be one of the most modern and well-maintained hospitals in Singapore.
3) National University Hospital:
The NUH is a hospital in Singapore located in the vicinity of the National University of Singapore’s medical faculty in Kent Ridge. Besides being a professional teaching hospital for the university, it also acts as a well-equipped research center. This hospital specializes in cardiology, gastroenterology, hepatology, ophthalmology among other specialties.
4) eMenders Singapore:
eMenders is a group of doctors, physicians and surgeons based in Singapore representing over 25 different branches of medicine and dentistry.
5) National Cancer Center Singapore:
National Cancer Center Singapore (NCCS) is a regional and national center that focuses on the prevention, management and treatment of different cancers including skin, lung, breast, stomach, uterus, liver, pancreas, lymphoma and head and neck cancers.
6) Hospital Raffles:
Raffles Hospital is a leading medical group and one of the largest private groups in Singapore operating a network of over 78 multidisciplinary clinics across Singapore. Raffles Hospital is JCI accredited.
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