Giving birth in a foreign country can be a stressful and difficult affair, especially if you do not have the support system of family and friends. However, the fact that Singapore is home to excellent hospitals that offer world class medical care makes it easier for expats from all over the world to have a smooth and comfortable pregnancy and childbirth in Singapore.
Health Care System in Singapore
Singapore is fast becoming the global destination of choice for people who want to avail themselves of world class medical and healthcare services at an affordable price. It was ranked 6th in a ranking of health systems across the world by the WHO in 2000, and since then the health care system in Singapore has only gone from strength to strength.The healthcare system in Singapore is based on the simple principle of providing world class basic medical services to everyone. Unlike the National Health Service in the UK, it is not fully subsidised by the government, and everybody, including citizens, has to pay for services irrespective of any subsidy they may be entitled to.
There are government hospitals, as well as private hospitals, and irrespective of what type of hospital you opt for, you will need to pay for healthcare costs during pregnancy and delivery.
Registration with a Doctor
You will want to be registered with an obstetrician throughout your pregnancy as well as for delivery. When choosing an obstetrician, make sure they deliver the type of services you are likely to need. Another factor to consider is whether the obstetrician you choose can work at the hospital of your choice, as you will want your doctor to be present during the delivery. Not all doctors can work outside the hospital they are employed by.
The best way to find a doctor is to visit the hospitals of your choice and speak to the obstetrician staff. Many hospitals offer packages that include pre-natal and post-natal consultations with the doctor, so it’s best to look around before you find the most suitable option.
Hospitals and Related Costs
There are a number of hospitals in Singapore, both private as well as government sponsored. Hospital costs vary quite widely, and even within a single hospital, there are a number of choices in the type of room and the services included. It is possible to opt for a basic plan that includes the hospital room and core medical services, and at the same time, you can also opt for an experience that includes a number of extra features like medical consultations, massage for the mother, and even free parking at the hospital!
Some well-known hospitals in Singapore that are popular for pregnancy and childbirth related services are:
Gleneagles Hospital: this is a massive multi-specialty private hospital with obstetrics and gynaecology as one of its key specialties. While prices can fluctuate and vary over time, a two day stay in a single room for a normal delivery can cost between S$2500 to S$3000.
As an example of birthing packages offered by some hospitals in Singapore – the VIP maternity package at Gleneagles can cost between S$13,000 to S$17,000 and includes a two day stay in the luxury suite, private nurse service, Metabolic and Hearing screening for the baby, a 15-minute head and neck massage for the mother, hair grooming, one home visit, a celebratory cocktail party for 10, and an en-suite minibar!
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital: This is a very popular public hospital in Singapore that offers a wide range of pregnancy and childbirth related services from basic single rooms to private facilities. You can also opt to have the baby delivered by a midwife instead of an obstetrician, as is normally the practice.
The average cost of a normal delivery with a two day stay at KK hospital can be around S$3000.
These are just two popular hospitals in Singapore. Some other hospitals include Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Raffles Hospital, National University Hospital etc. Other related costs to consider are for medical consultations with the doctor pre- and post-pregnancy (unless they are included in the hospital fees), items for the new born and of course confinement nanny services, should you opt for these.
All births in Singapore must be registered within 14 days of the event, usually at the Registry of Births and Deaths. You will require the official notification of live birth provided by the hospital, identification for both parents, marriage certificate where applicable and a registration fee of S$18. It is necessary to have the baby’s name ready at the time of birth registration.
Contrary to popular belief, a Singapore birth certificate does not imply citizenship. For a new-born to automatically obtain citizenship, it is necessary for the parents to be citizens.
You can find more information about child birth in Singapore on the Singapore Ministry of Health Website.
You can also visit the websites of different hospitals to find out more about their services and costs.