Health Advice for Singapore

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Health Advice for Singapore

Tap water is safe for drinking, and sanitation standards are very high. As a tropical country, Singapore is hot and humid so drink a lot of water. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Singapore was way back in 1934, when it hit a low of 19.4°C (66.9°F).

Malaria is not an issue, but dengue fever is endemic to the region. Singapore maintains strict mosquito control (leaving standing water around will get you fined), but the government's reach does not extend into the island's nature reserves, so if you're planning on hiking bring along mosquito repellent.

Medical Care

The standard of medical care in Singapore is uniformly excellent and Singapore is a popular destination for medical tourism (and medical evacuations) in the region. Despite the lower prices, standards are often as good as those in the West at both public and private clinics, making this a good place to get your jabs and tabs if heading off into the jungle elsewhere. You'll still want to make sure your insurance is in order before a prolonged hospitalization and/or major surgery.

For minor ailments, head down to the nearest suburban shopping mall or HDB shopping district and look for a general practitioner (GP). They usually receive patients without appointment and can prescribe drugs on the spot, and the total cost of a consultation, medicine included, rarely exceeds $30. For larger problems, head to a hospital.

  • Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Mount Elizabeth (off Orchard Rd), +65 67372666. Singapore's largest private hospital and a popular destination for medical tourists. Consultations with specialists start from $100.
  • Singapore General Hospital, College Road, 1st-3rd Hospital Avenue (Right next to MRT Outram Park). Singapore's oldest and largest public hospital. Outram Polyclinic offers doctor's consultations for $20.30 and can refer patients to specialists at the hospital, although waiting times can be long; afternoons are better than mornings. Open Mon-Fri 8 AM to 4:30 PM.
  • Tan Tock Seng Hospital, 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng (MRT Novena), +65 62566011. One of Singapore's largest public hospitals, fully equipped to handle most anything. Specialist departments here include a one-stop Travellers' Health & Vaccination Centre for immunizations, malaria prophylaxis, pre-trip and post-trip evaluations and general advice. Flat $80 fee for doctor's consultation, vaccines for $10 plus cost (consultation unnecessary), tel. +65 63572222, open 8AM-1PM and 2PM-5PM weekdays, 8AM-noon Sa, no appointment needed.

Alternatively, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) are widespread in Singapore. Eu Yan Sang runs a chain of over 20 clinics, while the Singapore Chinese Physicians' Association offers a directory of TCM physicians.


Nearly all shopping centres, hotels, MRT stations, bus interchanges, and hawker centres are likely to have public toilets. Being clean, McDonald's toilets are popular too, and the staff do not make a fuss. Public facilities may charge 10 to 20 cents per entry, and a packet of tissue may come in handy if the toilet paper has run out. Most toilets have bowls, but there is usually one squatting cubicle in every public toilet.

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