Having a baby is a whole new experience for first time parents, and if you’re going to do it in another country, there’s a whole host of other things to think about. So, where do you start?
Private vs public
First things first, you’ll need to decide whether you’d like to use the public or private health system, but, what’s the difference? Really, it comes down to your budget and the level of luxury and personal care that you’re after. Whichever you choose, you should be in safe hands.
By choosing to use the private services, you’ll be able to choose which hospital and obstetrician (OB) to use, whereas, if you use the public services, you’ll likely see a different OB each time you visit the hospital and then have another who’ll deliver your baby. Some expats favour the private system as the care is more westernised with more English speaking staff available.
It’s also possible to receive your treatment with a mixture of public and private services. The public hospitals tend to have private facilities and private obstetricians will treat you in a public hospital, which can help to keep your maternity and delivery costs low.
If you’re a Singaporean national, you’ll be able to benefit from the government-funded healthcare, but if you’re an expat, you’ll be reliant on self funding options or a comprehensive health plan to cover your medical bills. The costs of prenatal care and your delivery are usually billed as packages, so you don’t have to pay as you go through your pregnancy. These packages often include your prenatal consultations, tests and scans, your delivery and your stay in hospital. Don’t be surprised if the costs don’t end there, it’s common for additional costs to be added on top of the package rate, such as meals, care for your baby, additional medical interventions or extended stays in hospital.