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Registering with the health system
Thankfully, you’ll find that Singapore’s medical system is easy to access as an expat. The majority of services can be accessed with a national registration identity card (NRIC), a compulsory document for everyone who’s lawfully resident in Singapore.
However, non-residents can also provide a birth certificate (under 15s only), passport, dependant pass, or employment pass (the most common form of identification used by expats).
Choosing a family doctor
Before you can have any treatment (including prescriptions), you need to register at a clinic using any of the documentation mentioned previously.
You can search for a local doctor online, in local listings or, as many find useful, join an online expat community to ask for recommendations.
You can make appointments at local clinics by using online services such as GetDoc or Practo.
Sometimes it’s possible to get walk-in appointments at clinics and hospitals, but both can get busy, so call ahead to check availability before you leave home. Some clinics open late and others are even open for 24 hours – check sites like Street Directory for opening hours.
Seeing a specialist
If you need to see a specialist at a hospital, your registered doctor will usually write you a letter of referral.
You don’t need a referral letter to see a specialist, but it may help if you provide notes on your condition, as well as any tests or treatment you’ve already had. This will help your specialist get up to speed quickly and may help you avoid paying for any investigations you don’t need.
If you want, you can use your hospital’s online booking system to book an appointment with a specialist