Visitors to Singapore have little to fear and can enjoy the type of lifestyle they are already accustomed to back home. It may be situated within the tropics, but Singapore has some of the world’s finest medical facilities and sanitation and public hygiene is second to none.
Even offences such as littering or not flushing a public toilet after use are liable to hefty fines. And should the worst befall you, Singapore healthcare services rival anywhere in the world with gleaming new hospitals and highly-trained doctors who speak perfect English. For a trouble free stay, check out our tips for staying fit and healthy in Singapore.
Singapore health risks
Dengue fever in Singapore
Dengue Fever has also been reported in the city and although cases are rare compared to its neighbours, the usual preventative measures are advised such as regular applications of mosquito repellant. The Ministry of Health (Open: 08:30-18:00 (Monday-Friday, closed for lunch: 13:00-14:00), closed Weekend, Public Holiday) 18 College Road, tel: +65 6325 9220, fax: +65 6224 1677, hotline: 1800 225 4122, website: www.moh.gov.sg) issues regular health updates for its citizens and foreign visitors.
Food as Singapore health risk
Singapore is well known as a paradise for food lovers with a rich diversity of cuisines. You should have no fears of eating out at its simple food hawker centres which are generally well regulated and hygienic. Some places pre-cook food which may present a small health risk.
Epidemics in Singapore
Singapore has escaped relatively unscathed during the major health scares which affected much of Southeast Asia. There were confirmed cases of Swine Flu and the H1N1 bug but these were much lower than nearly all its neighbours.
Hospitals in Singapore
Singapore medical care is the envy of the world with many top class private hospitals and specialist health centres. In fact many expats from across the Southeast Asia region come here for their medical needs. You are never far from emergency or outpatient care if you need it but it can be extremely expensive.
Good health insurance is a definite must and there are various insurance companies such as Expat Health which specialise in those working overseas. In the last few years it has become Asia’s major centre for medical tourism and most of its larger hospitals offer five star hotel style facilities and specialist acute care units.
Climate as Singapore health risk
Singapore is located in the tropics and even though you are never more than a few steps away from an air conditioned shopping mall, stick to the tried and trusted methods of regular rest breaks and rehydration. It can get very humid in the city centre and almost every year a thick haze descends on the island, due to a combination of forest fires from Indonesia and traffic fumes.
Crime and personal safety in Singapore
Singapore is one of the safest countries in the world and you can walk around alone at any time of day or night without fear. Even lone female travellers rarely experience any hassle although it is still wise to take taxis and stick to well lit streets.
Crime is also rare and usually opportunist. Leave valuables under lock and key in your hotel where possible and take care at ATM cash machines as card ‘skimming’ is becoming more of a problem nowadays. Singapore is a very tolerant society and there is an established gay scene, but avoid public displays of affection.
Traffic as Singapore health risk
Singapore has a good road safety record although like any major urban area, accidents do happen and driving standards can be erratic and impatient. Jaywalking is an offence in Singapore so always use the designated crossings and overhead walkways. If traffics lights are not on red, motorists are reluctant to stop no matter what is in their way!