Medical Travel FAQ
What are the benefits of medical travel?
- Cost Savings: Many medical tourists from the United States and Great Britain are seeking treatment at a quarter or sometimes even a tenth of the cost at home.
- Shorter Waits: People may be frustrated by long waiting times in Canada and Great Britain.
Relaxed Recovery: For some, becoming a medical tourist is a chance to combine a tropical vacation with medical consultation and surgery.
Unlimited Treatment Options: Singapore has a comprehensive network of accredited specialist doctors who provide their services in 35 different medical specialty fields, ranging from cardiology to oncology and orthopaedic.
Quality of Healthcare Infrastructure: Ranked best in Asia and 6th worldwide for its outstanding healthcare services by WHO, Singapore boasts 13 Joint International Commission (JCI) - accredited medical facilities with specialist doctors trained in top medical centers in UK and US.
- What are the qualifications of our doctors?
eMediHub only works with specialist doctors. In order to get a specialist acreditation, doctors have to study an additional 6-8 years. Most of our specialists embark on their specialty training in UK or US. Click here to learn more about what it takes to become a specialist.
- What should I consider before I embark on medical travel?
- Challenge in identifying medical experts of another country
- Patients may want to get referrals from their general medical practitioners, friends, official medical agencies, Internet medical websites (e.g. www.emedihub.com).
- Complications in cost estimations for medical treatment, accomodation and transportation
- Patients may want to make arrangements prior to the trip. Travel agencies, friends, Internet, official medical agencies, Internet medical websites (e.g. www.emedihub.com) should have relevant information available.
- Challenge in getting support from family situated in different social and regualtory environments.
- Lack of natural immunity against infectious diseases different from those in Northern America and Europe.
- Risk of developing pulmonary embolism and blood clots during surgery or long flights.
- Therefore, patients may be advised to wait for several days, depending on procedure type, to allow for recovery before travelling.
- Singapore Passport and Visa
Travel Visa permit is not required by the citizens of several countries to visit Singapore as tourists. However, in this case, documents like passports, onward documents (onward/return tickets, entry permit, etc) to the next destination must be on the travellers. They should also have sufficient funds for their stay. For longer stay, approval by the immigration department is required.
Citizens of the Following nations do not need visa:
- United States of America, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Iceland, Luxemburg, Japan, Republic of Ireland.
- Countries that are members of the British Commonwealth (except India)
- Philippines, Thailand
- Liechtenstein, Monaco, Netherlands, San Marino, Switzerland
- India (diplomatic or official passport holders)
Getting a Tourist Visa
The applicant is required to have a passport valid for 6 months from date of entry into Singapore. Visa is issued for the period of 14 to 30 days. It can be extended in Singapore to 3 months via the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority.
It can take anytime from 2 days to 4 weeks. It is advisable to apply ahead of time.
- Two completed application forms (Forms 14A & V39A)
- Recent passport size photos
- Journey details in Singapore
- Proof of sufficient budget
- A photocopy of passport bio-data page
- A photocopy of confirmed onward air-ticket
Pregnant women who are in their second trimester (24 weeks) have to obtain a doctor's certification that it is safe for them to travel.
One can face severe penalties if found in possession of narcotics. The death penalty is meted out for offenders found guilty of heroin or morphine trafficking.
Regulations can be changed at short notice and all visitors are advised to check with the High Commission or the Embassy before departure.
Unless you specify your intended length of stay in Singapore, you'll usually be granted fourteen days.
Business and Shopping Hours
Usually, business hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m, Mondays to Fridays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Shops are open from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.
Light summer clothing is ideal for outdoor activities like sightseeing. However, formal attire is expected in formal business meetings and settings.
Singapore's country code is 65. Singapore has no city code.
Drinking tap water in Singapore is perfectly safe. However, tourists can purchase bottled mineral water from local supermarkets and grocers.
Drive at a safe speed. Speeding is prohibited. Several speed-trap cameras are installed around the island to monitor your vehicle's speed.
Drug Trafficking and Laws
Severity of Singapore laws can be surprising for visitors. Drug trafficking is punishable by death. Driving beyond speed limits is also not permitted.
Be respectful towards the local cultures. Remove shoes before entering a place of worship and dress modestly in public.
Most type of gambling activities are prohibited by law. The authorised forms of gambling are charity draws, Toto, Singapore Sweep, 4-digit lotteries and on-course betting at the Singapore Turf Club on horse races.
Smoking and Littering
Smoking is banned in most public places unless a Smoking Corner is designated within the premises. The penalties for littering include heavy fines and up to 12 hours of corrective work.
Time of Visit
Try to visit Singapore during the Chinese New Year. Festive offerings during this period include the Chingay Parade, Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations and the Singapore River Hongbao along Marina Bay.
Tipping is usually not practised in Singapore. Hotels and restaurants include a 10% service charge in the bill, thus discouraging tipping.
Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. However, it is advisable to avoid dark and secluded streets.
Changi International Airport takes care of the air travel needs of Singapore. Air services operate for all major international destinations from the airport. The Airport is at the eastern part of the island, 20 kilometres from the city center. Limousine, cars and taxis are available at the airport to transport the passengers to the city. A shuttle bus service also operates from the city.
Regular rail services connect Singapore, Bangkok and Malacca (Malaysia). Oriental Express is a luxurious train operating on this route. The rail service is available to budget tourists travelling via these countries.
The Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) is the fastest and most comfortable mode of transport within Singapore. The MRT spans across the island in 64 stations and the fares are also reasonable.
Singapore is linked to Malaysia and the Asian Mainland by two causeways. Foreign motorists are required to pay a toll charge and fee for vehicle entry permit before entering Singapore.
Transport in Singapore is mostly road-based. Chief modes of transportation on the roads are given below.
Buses: The cheapest means of transport run on most routes from morning at 6 o'clock in the morning to midnight. The fares are reasonable and bus routes are displayed at bus stations.
Taxis & Cars: Metered and air-conditioned taxi services are easily available in Singapore. From midnight to 6 a.m. and during peak hours, an additional surcharge is charged. Cars can easily be hired all over the island, if one has an international driver's permit. For parking, coupons which have to be purchased from petrol stations and post offices need to be displayed on the vehicle.
Cable Car: Tourist hubs like Sentosa Island have cable cars,which are used to travel over any water body. Travel on a cable car at a good elevation is an enjoyable experience.
For travelling to various islands, one can use the ferries. Most tourists use ferries for travelling to Sentosa and its neighbouring islands. Journey through water to Sentosa is definitely very intriguing. The Singaporeans are fond of accessing these islands through water ways.
The local currency is the Singapore dollar (SGD or S$) and cents. Singapore bank notes are issued in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 10000 dollars. Coins come in denominations of S$1, and 50, 20, 10 and 5 cents. The US and Australian dollars, Yen and British pound are also acceptable, at major shopping centers and restaurants. Currency conversion facilities are available at the airport and railway stations. Exchange rates do fluctuate.
Cards and Traveler's Cheques
Major credit cards are generally acceptable, including American Express, MasterCard, Visa, JCB and Diners Card. NETS is also a widely acceptable method where one can use an ATM card for payment. Foreign currencies and travellers' cheques can be changed or cashed at most banks and licensed money changers. Tourists have to show their passport when cashing travellers' cheques and a nominal commission is also charged for the transaction. Some banks do not deal in foreign exchange on Saturdays.
If any shopper demands a surcharge on your card, report the errant shop-owner to the respective card company. A list of errant retailers is displayed on the Singapore Tourism Board website.
- On Mondays to Fridays: 0930 hrs to 1500 hrs (Some banks provide services till 1900 hrs).
- On Saturdays: 0930 hrs to 1300 hrs (Some banks provide services until 1500 hrs).
- Sundays: 0930 hrs to 1500 hrs (Some banks in Orchard Road).
No limit on the amount of foreign currency that may be brought into or taken out the country.
Singapore Holiday Packages
One of the world's largest botanical reserves, the Botanic Gardens, sprawling over 63 hectares of land, is home to more than 600,000 plant species. The National Orchid Garden, one of the key attractions, has a collection of 2,000 hybrids of orchids. The Evolution Garden, Ginger Garden and Rainforest are other attractions of the Botanic Gardens. Look out for the 11 national heritage trees in the Botanic Gardens as well.
As the name suggests, the Dolphin Lagoon provides one a chance to watch the highly intelligent Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphins through a series of interactive, feeding and training sessions. A "Swim with the Dolphins" package is available for one to enjoy around the lagoon or learn hand cues to give the pink dolphins.
Jurong Bird Park
The world's largest collection of South-East Asian birds is a great infotainment experience. The Bird Park, spanning over 20 hectares of land, is the home of more than 8,000 birds of about 600 species. The Park also boasts the world's tallest artificial waterfall at over 30 metres. Other attractions at this award-winning tourist destination include the Parrot Paradise, The Riverine and Royal Ramble.
Park & Reserves
The island-nation has no paucity of parks and reserves. The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Chinese and Japanese Gardens, Fort Canning Park, Marina South City and the unique Night Safari are few to mention. In the Night Safari, one can view the animals at night, busy in their nocturnal lifestyle.
Like all zoos, the Singapore Zoo displays intriguing animals and birds for viewing. Sections like the Rainforest Kidzworld, Primate Kingdom, Pony and Elephant Rides, Cat Country, Australian Outback and Reptile Garden make visiting the Zoo an exhilarating experience.
Underwater World is a marvelous way of presenting marine life for viewing. The tourists embark on a journey to the bottom of the sea, sauntering amidst beautiful corals and exciting fish species.
Changi Beach Park
One of the oldest coastal parks in Singapore, Changi Beach Park is an ideal escape from hectic city life. A boardwalk along the coast connects the Changi Beach to the East Coast Park. One can walk silently on the boardwalk viewing the sea and enjoying the sea breeze.
East Coast Park
East Coast Park is a favorite among Singaporeans, where they indulge in several sports and water activities. Besides cycling, one can also enjoy golf, tennis, squash and water sports. The beach also provides refuge from bustling urban life. Fine seafood restaurants in the vicinity serve delicious delicacies when visitors get hunger pangs.
A popular island destination in Singapore, Sentosa Island has multi-faceted appeal. It is a beautiful island that has been converted into a giant theme park and playground for the citizens of Singapore and international tourists. Although there are numerous attractions to entice tourists, the popular ones are the Butterfly Park and the Underwater World Aquarium.
A nice getaway for the lovers of solitude, St. John's Island is known for its beautiful beaches, impressive lagoon and off-beaten treks. An amazing variety of coral reefs is also found in the coastal waters of the island. One can also observe land hermit crabs, sea cucumbers and white-bellied sea eagles on the shores of the island.
Air Ambulance FAQ
What is air ambulance service?
It is a bedside-to-bedside medical transfer of critically ill patients which include ground ambulances at originating and destination hospitals, a doctor, nurse and special medical equipment. It usually involves an aircraft for emergency medical assistance in situations where a traditional ground ambulance cannot easily or quickly reach the patient.
- When should one consider air ambulance service?
Air ambulance service is recommended for patients who are critically ill and need to be operated on ASAP. This can include transplant patients, stroke patients and accident victims.
- How much does an air ambulance service cost?
Air ambulance service is very costly. At times, it could be more than 3 times the cost of a commercial flight. This cost will be an all-inclusive cost, meaning cost of booking aircraft, booking of land ambulance, allowance for pilots and medical staff, renting of medical equipment and engaging eMediHub's services.
This is a cash-based industry. eMediHub accepts only upfront payment in cash before the flight is confirmed.
- Can somebody accompany the patient in the air ambulance?
Yes. Depending on the seating capacity of the aircraft, usually two (2) additional passengers can fly with the patient.
- What happens when a flight is delayed or diverted due to weather or other problems?
We will do whatever possible to get a patient to his or her destination. However, circumstances are sometimes out of our control (E.g. weather conditions, aircraft's mechanical problems). In every case, we will keep the patient's well-being as our priority and expedite the transfer as best as we can.
- What do the acronyms BLS, ALS and CC mean?
BLS means "basic life support". This is the type of care for patients who need minimal external life support, but still need monitoring and care. Some of the equipment required might include an FFA approved stretcher, oxygen, blood pressure monitoring, IVs and certified emergency medical personnel.
ALS means "actual life support". This is basically BLS plus the possibility of cardiac defibrillation and the potential for dealing with trauma and other conditions that would necessitate a high level of care.
CC means "critical care". In this situation, at least two specifically trained flight medics will accompany the patient with highly complex medical equipment in the air ambulance.
- For patients coming to Singapore
As eMediHub is based in Singapore, our support personnel will be on-site once the patient touches down in Singapore, assisting him with admissions, medical bills, problems encountered and obtaining authorization from insurance companies throughout his stay in the hospital.
When possible, eMediHub would find a suitable and experienced specialist or a medical team who will assess the patient's situation BEFORE the patient leaves for Singapore and be ready BEFORE the patient arrives so that you know what you can expect before coming to Singapore.
This specialist or medical team will also be in-charge of the patient throughout his/her entire stay in the hospital. Therefore removing any doubt/worry you or the patient may have on the care he/she is going to receive.
eMediHub eliminates the hassle of having to seek a hospital with available wards for the patient. We saves you AND the patient precious time by settling this for you before the patient arrives in Singapore.
This are additional services we provide at NO additional cost.