Singapore is finding it harder to retain its title as the region’s top medical tourism hub as patients eye cheaper options elsewhere while government support for the sector wanes, a new report has warned.

It also noted that the challenges will only intensify as improved standards in neighbouring cities test the price premiums here, which are further exacerbated by a strong Singapore dollar.

A heart bypass in Singapore costs 41 per cent more than in Thailand and 106 per cent more than in Malaysia, BMI Research found.

While higher prices here have traditionally been justified by the high level of treatment offered – Singapore is ranked sixth out of 191 countries globally and the best in Asia by the World Health Organisation – this gap in standards has begun to close.

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