Dear A.S.S. Editor

While Singapore may still be the top destination in this region for medical tourism, it seems like our neighbouring countries are swiftly closing the gap. The worrying thing is, the lower costs and the growing availability of quality care in these countries will start to lure the the medical tourists away from Singapore, while also making sure their own citizens stay home for treatment, rather than go to Singapore.

According to data from a medical tourism index released last month, Singapore was ranked the most attractive among seven Asian countries in terms of “patient experience”, but was also one of the least attractive where costs were concerned. In contrast, the attractiveness of patient experience in countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia has grown since 2015. Another advantage these countries have over Singapore is the relatively lower cost of their healthcare services.

This is very symptomatic of Singapore nowadays. We have always prided ourselves as the leader when it comes to many things in the Asia region. But, while the services factor still remain relatively high in reliability, the costs that have spiraled upwards means that Singapore is becoming too expensive for tourists to come. Could we finally see the day when Singapore is no longer the top choice for others in the region, when they are many other cheaper alternatives around us? Then we would be in trouble.

Dorothy Ong

A.S.S. Contributor

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