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Health Emergencies for Expats in Singapore

Submitted: April 2014

In an emergency, you must call 995 or go straight to a hospital. If you are wondering about where to go, go the Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department of a public hospital. All patients coming to A&E Departments are immediately assessed in order to determine how urgent the matter is.

Because of its central location, the Tan Tock Seng Hospital tends to be more crowded than other hospitals in Singapore.

Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)

For life-threatening emergencies, call the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) by dialling 995. The SCDF will then take you to the nearest hospital.

Don't dial 995 if your problem is not life-threatening, as you may be charged a SGD198 fine for this. In such cases, call instead the non-emergency private ambulance service at 1777.

More information on what is an emergency for which you should call 995 – and what is not –can be found here.

Many of the SCDF staff comprises of Singaporean citizens currently doing their National Service (NS), which is Singapore's conscription system.

Cost of emergency treatment

Healthcare is not free in Singapore, and this includes emergency treatment. SCDF services, however, are free if the emergency is found to be genuine, which is assessed by the A&E Department of the receiving hospital.

As far as private ambulance services are concerned, i.e. those for which you should dial 1777, an overview of their capabilities and charges is available here.

In an emergency, patients should not be denied treatment solely because they cannot afford the bill.

Travel advice

Many countries provide updated travel information to their citizens, and this often includes health advice. You should regularly check the Foreign Office website of your home country to see if there are any specific steps you need to make. Alternatively, you can go to your local embassy in Singapore.



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