medical tourism singapore


Host of the first ever Youth Olympic Games, the tiny island of Singapore is also famous for many more things big and small. Claiming to be Asia’s leading medical hub, Singapore has long been the choice of destination for major medical care for patients from neighbouring countries viz., Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Middle East, Indochina, Greater China, and so on. Today, even Americans, Canadians and Europeans are choosing Singapore as a medical tourism destination for healthcare that is low, price-wise and just-like-the-West, quality-wise.

SINGAPORE’S HEALTH CARE DELIVERY

There are 15 hospitals and medical centers in Singapore that have obtained the united States-based Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation. That is a large concentration of JCI accredited hospitals in one country. A JCI accreditation gives the healthcare provider the top-quality label which in turn gives the patient the peace of mind that the service received will be on par with or superior to what is available in the United States.

Merlion, SingaporeTo appeal to patients from Europe and other Asian nations, Singapore hospitals are also looking towards European and Asian-based hospital accreditation systems. This says a lot about the quality of healthcare delivery. Not just that, hospitals in Singapore have strategic partnerships with many acclaimed overseas institutes like Harvard Medical School. Such alliances give them access to the latest cutting-edge medical technology. Also, it is common for doctors and surgeons in Singapore hospitals to have an overseas education and training.

TOP SINGAPORE HOSPITALS AND COMMON PROCEDURES

Healthbase customer from IndonesiaSome of the most famous hospitals in Singapore are National Heart Centre (NHC) , Parkway Hospitals (including Mount Elizabeth Hospital , Gleneagles Hospital , East Shore Hospital ), Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), and Raffles Hospital . Some of the common medical procedures sought in these hospitals are cardiac bypass surgeries , joint replacement procedures , cosmetic or plastic surgeries , cancer therapies like chemotherapy and radiation therapy , and so on. Increasingly, Singapore is becoming popular as an organ transplantation destination as well. Patients visit Singapore from all over the world for transplant surgeries such as liver transplant , kidney transplant , and hair transplant .

There are also several dental offices island-wide that offer good dental services to foreigners for cheap. A lot of tourists coming into Singapore combine vacation with a health check (preventive and wellness checkups) on the side.

SINGAPORE’S USP IN THE MEDICAL TOURISM INDUSTRY

Things that set Singapore apart from others vying for business in the medical tourism industry are:

  • Prosperous country: Unlike other medical tourism destinations in the world that are mostly developing countries, Singapore stands out as one of the most prosperous nations in the world with a per capita GDP equal to that of the leading nations of Western Europe.
  • Cosmopolitan image: About a quarter of the population is composed of residents from foreign nations making the country culturally diverse. Sensitivity and respect towards people from other cultures, ethnicities and religions is, therefore, at the heart of the society. For international patients seeking medical treatment in Singapore, this is a big plus.
  • High service standards: High service standards in all sectors of the economy, and not just in the health care sector, give Singapore a significant advantage in the medical tourism industry.
  • English as an official language: You will not have to worry about learning another language or bother with interpreters because English is the most commonly spoken language in the country.
  • Tourism: Medical tourists traveling to Singapore often visit the several tourist attractions the country offers. In fact, tourism in Singapore is a major industry and attracts millions of tourists each year. From cultural attractions to natural and heritage conservation sites, and from adventurous activities to relaxation retreats, Singapore caters to every type of tourist.

IN SUMMARY

Singapore may not be the cheapest option available to you in terms of health care but with a price differential of 60-80% (compared to US hospital rates) on major medical care, the cost savings still amount to a lot. High quality of care offered in modern facilities using state-of-the-art technology and equipments makes Singapore a top medical tourism hub.

So, if you need top class medical care but do not have the means to pay for it then get your local doctor’s reports together and call upon a reputed medical tourism facilitator such as Healthbase for affordable treatment in Singapore.

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WHAT MAKES YOUR BACK?

Anatomy of the human spine
Have you ever wondered what makes your back and neck bend, stretch and even rotate so swiftly and smoothly? These movements are possible due to the spinal column or vertebral column in your body which extends from the skull to the pelvis and is made up of 33 individual bones termed vertebrae. The vertebral column is not actually a column but is sort of a spiral spring in the form of the letter S.

The following figure illustrates the human spinal column:

Human Vertebral Column or Spinal Column

Human Vertebral Column or Spinal Column

Between each vertebra are strong connective tissues which hold one vertebra to the next, and acts as a cushion between the vertebrae. The disc allows for movements of the vertebrae and lets you bend and rotate your neck and back. The type and degree of motion varies between the different levels of the spine: cervical (neck), thoracic (chest) or lumbar (low back).

The cervical spine is a highly mobile region that permits movement in all directions. The thoracic spine is much more rigid due to the presence of ribs and is designed to protect the heart and lungs. The lumbar spine allows mostly forward and backward bending movements (flexion and extension).

 

WHAT BREAKS YOUR BACK?

Spinal osteoarthritis

Back pain

Back pain

Spinal arthritis or osteoarthritis of the spine is a common cause of back pain. It is the mechanical breakdown of the cartilage between the vertebral joints in the back portion of the spine leading to mechanically induced pain. The joints become inflamed and pain may be felt when performing even the simplest of activities like standing, sitting or walking. Over time, bone spurs – small irregular growths on the bone, also called osteophytes – typicaly form on the vertebral joints and around the spinal vertebrae which may become so large as to cause irritation or entrapment of nerves passing through spinal structures and result in spinal stenosis (diminished room for the nerves to pass).

Classification of spinal osteoarthritis

– Lower back (lumbar spine) osteoarthritis or lumbosacral arthritis, which produces stiffness and pain in the lower spine and sacroiliac joint (between the spine and the pelvis)

– Neck (cervical spine) osteoarthritis or cervical spondylosis, which causes stiffness and pain in the upper spine, neck, shoulders, arms and head.

Causes of spinal osteoarthritis

The most common causes are repetitive trauma to the spine from repetitive strains caused by accidents, surgery, sports injuries and poor posture. Other risk factors include aging, gender (more common in post-menopausal women), excess body weight, genetics, and associated diseases (like infections, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.)

 

WHAT REMAKES A BROKEN BACK?

Surgical treatment of spinal arthritis

For spinal arthritis, the only effective surgical treatment is spine fusion surgery, to stop motion at the painful joint. In fusion, one or more of the vertebrae of the spine are united (fused together) using bone grafts so that motion no longer occurs between them.

Interbody Spine Fusion System

Interbody Spine Fusion System

Uses of spinal fusion surgery

Spinal fusion surgery is used to treat:

– a fractured (broken) vertebra e.g. spondylolisthesis

– deformity e.g. scoliosis or kyphosis (spinal curves or slippages)

– pain from painful motion

– instability

– some cervical disc herniations (fusion together with discectomy)

– weak or unstable spine caused by infections or tumors

For more information about spine fusion surgery, check out medical tourism for spine fusion surgery through Healthbase.

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