March 2, 2024

Health Screening in Singapore: All You Need to Know

If you have a specific condition that does not manifest signs or symptoms, you need to have a health screening. Getting one at a health screening clinic can help ensure early detection. Once there is an accurate diagnosis, your doctor can provide the treatment you need.

Health screening at a health screening clinic can involve physical examinations, tests, and other procedures that can detect certain medical conditions early. Contrary to popular belief, they are different from diagnostic tests which are carried out when signs or symptoms of a condition have manifested.

Singapore Health Screening: All the Basics You Need to Know

Below are some of the essentials you need to know about the health screening in Singapore:

Reasons to Go for a Health Screening

Health screenings can help diagnose a specific condition even if the patient has not experienced any symptoms or signs or even if they feel perfectly well. Detecting a condition early and providing the right treatment are important to achieve a better outcome. It can also lower the risk of serious complications.

The Different Types of Screening Tests

There are three different types of screening tests.

  • Category 1. These screening tests are considered beneficial for all. These screening tests include body mass index (BMI), fasting blood glucose HbA1c, blood pressure measurement, Fasting lipids and non-fasting lipids, Fecal immunochemical test or colonoscopy.
  • Category 2. These screening tests are beneficial for some people but not for others. Decision to get screened are based on an “individual level.” It will also depend on individual risk factors like family history. Screening tests under category 2 include abdominal ultrasonography, audiometry, chest X-ray, CT colonography, down syndrome screening, etc.
  • Category 3. It is advisable that you speak with your family doctor regarding the relevant screening tests you need based on your individual health profile.

What to Do Before a Health Screening

If the screening results are normal, it is recommended that you follow the regular interval for the screening. It is important to remember that certain health conditions can only be detected during the time of the screening. If some symptoms or signs develop after, visit your doctor right away. You don’t need to wait for your next screening schedule.

What to Do When You Can’t Afford a Follow-Up Treatment

Singaporeans have access to good and affordable healthcare through subsidized health services that are being offered at polyclinics and public hospitals. Some of the available schemes that can help offset possible medical expenses include Medifund, Careshield, Medisave, Medishield Life and Elder Shield.

Using Medisave to Pay for the Cost of Health Screening

Currently, Medisave cannot be used to pay for health screenings for conditions like high cholesterol or diabetes. However, for those who are diagnosed with chronic conditions that are covered by the Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP), Medisave can be used to pay at least a portion of the outpatient treatment cost.

Women over 50 and above can use an immediate family member’s Medisave for mammogram screenings at approved centers. The Medisave 500 scheme allows up to $500 per Medisave account to be used for mammogram screenings yearly. Individuals 50 years and above can also use Medisave for colonoscopy at approved centers.

Individuals 70 years old and above that have not been screened the past three years but don’t have any chronic conditions like high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure should consult their GP for screening recommendations. Those screened within the last three years should check with their GP for health screening advice.

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