Finding a GP Clinic in Singapore: A Guide for Expats

If you are an expatriate who has just moved to Singapore, you have no shortage of options for GP clinics for your medical care. As recently as 2015, there were over 12,000 medical practitioners in the city, from family doctors to specialists, to emergency services.

When searching for a general physician clinic in Singapore, there are significant factors to consider. You are most likely looking for a clinic that treats their patients well, and provides excellent medical services, all in welcoming environment. The majority of GP clinics in Singapore are private clinics, but this is not usually an issue for expats, who are not typically covered by public health insurance anyway.

When deciding upon a GP clinic in Singapore, most expats will have first to decide what type of care they prefer: Western Medicine, or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Many different clinics provide high-quality care in both disciplines, so it is merely a matter of choice for you and your family. As a general rule, Western medicine focuses on the specific symptoms of a disease and focuses on treatment of just that particular issue, while Chinese medicine focuses on the overall health of the person first, not only the symptoms. Western medicine tends to separate the disease from the individual’s overall health, while TCM looks at the entire picture encompassing even the spiritual as well as the physical state.

The second consideration (that we mentioned earlier) is whether or not you and your family qualify for the public healthcare system in Singapore. Singapore has a fantastic social security system that provides healthcare to everyone. Unfortunately, this scheme often excludes expats and their families living in the city-state. Fortunately, Singapore ranks highly in standards of quality in both the public and private sector, so finding a quality practice is not an issue.

While most expats do not qualify for public healthcare, the individual’s employer usually provides insurance coverage or can assist the employee in obtaining private coverage. If your employer provides healthcare coverage, make sure to speak with your Human Resources Department about GP clinics that are in your network, or talk to your colleagues about clinics that they recommend. Word-of-mouth is strong in the Singapore expat community, and you will likely be able to find an excellent GP clinic by asking for recommendations from people who have lived here for a while.

If you have just moved to Singapore and are looking for a family physician near you, the Singapore Medical counsel has a search engine that will help you find clinics nearby by directly entering your address. By utilizing tools like this, you can quickly identify the clinics near you, and then follow up by researching reviews, discussing recommendations with other expats, and phoning the clinic to make sure they can accept new patients.

Expats that move to Singapore have many excellent options to choose from when it comes to selecting the right clinic for their general practitioner. Your family’s health is a priority, and seeing a trusted physician on a regular basis can help ensure their continued well-being. General practitioners can provide more than just treatments for sickness; they offer guidance on how to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

It is important to note that GP clinics are not the right place to turn to for emergencies. If you have newly relocated to Singapore and have a medical emergency, dial 995 for emergency assistance. There is also a 1777 hotline for non-emergency services if you are unable to reach a clinic on your own. Make sure to keep these numbers handy for emergency services, and make sure to find a proper GP clinic as soon as possible for non-emergency treatment.