You know that theory that private is always better than public in every area? Well, it may not always apply.
Singapore ranks among the countries with the best healthcare in the world, both at the public and private hospitals. Some things, however, set the government hospitals ahead.
Public hospitals are cheaper because the costs are subsidized. You could get anything from 30% to 80% subsidy off your medical costs. If you have no income, then you get maximum subsidy i.e. free medical care, if you have some income, the subsidy depends on the amount. Children’s fees will depend on their guardian’s income. Note that this applies for Class C and B2 wards only. It gets better, if your condition is serious and you lose your income while in hospital, the subsidy takes that into consideration. None of this is available in private hospitals.
It is often an assumption that because more people go to public hospitals, the queues will be longer and it will take you more time to be attended to. Well, that is not entirely true. Hospitals, both public and private, deal with clients based on priority so you will get passed over if someone in a worse condition comes through regardless of which hospital you went to. Further, if you need admission, you will have to wait for a while in both types of hospitals so why pay more because you might get a bed faster? Doesn’t make financial sense, right?
The fact that Singapore is ranked 6th in the world in terms of healthcare can never be overemphasized. This ranking includes both private and public healthcare facilities. So if the quality of care is the same, what’s the point of paying more when you can pay less? Now, private hospitals try to keep their costs manageable but they are trying to run a business so they are still a little more expensive than public hospitals. And every dollar counts, right?
Ultimately, the quality and efficiency of public and private hospitals are comparable and the only real difference is in the cost of treatment. So if you are looking to just get care and you don’t care about where then you can go anywhere (see what I did right there?) but if you are trying to save those extra dollars, then you will have to go to the public hospitals near you.