The purpose of these articles is to assist families with some information on medical financials for cancer treatment, particularly in relation to chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and the newly included classes of drugs called targeted therapy, immunotherapy. We try to cover the main topics but the information is not comprehensive, as there are many different health and insurance plans. More information is available on the Ministry of Health websites.
Private chemotherapy and cancer medicine treatment
Almost all our chemotherapy and cancer treatment is outpatient which minimizes overall cost for the patient. So, when looking up the coverage in the insurance forms and brochures, “outpatient” treatment category is the important one to look up. We do not provide information here for radiation and surgical treatment.
Firstly, many cancers are curable. That is what we are in the business for! We do see patients at different stages of cancer and some are at high risk for a return of the cancer or relapse after surgery. These patients often receive adjuvant treatment. This means a defined course of treatment to reduce the risk of recurrence. The chemotherapy in such cases are usually a few months (usually six months or less) and some patients are on hormonal or other drugs for a few years. In other situations, patients already have serious diseases or recurrences and are on a more prolonged course of treatment.
The chemotherapy or cancer treatment is given in cycles. This means that there is generally a period of treatment followed by rest. The outpatient chemotherapy claims is also following completion of each cycle. These claims related to outpatient chemotherapy goes beyond the 120 days that some patients are concerned are tied to their surgical or admission procedures.
Medishield Life, Medisave and Integrated Shield Plans (Private Medical Insurance)
On 1 November 2015, the Singapore government implemented MediShield Life which covers all Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PRs). MediShield Life is a basic health insurance plan, administered by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board, which helps to pay for large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments, such as dialysis, radiotherapy and chemotherapy for cancer. There is no deductible for outpatient treatments; however there is a co-insurance rate of 10% for which a patient can pay using Medisave or cash.
Medisave is a national medical savings scheme which helps individuals put aside part of their income into their Medisave Accounts to meet their future personal or immediate family’s hospitalization, day surgery and certain outpatient expenses. Immediate family members can also use their Medisave Accounts to assist in paying the medical bills for patients.
Integrated Shield Plans – Many Singaporeans have also supplemented their basic coverage with integrated private medical insurance (PMI) policies (“Integrated Shield plans”) for treatment. A Medisave-approved Integrated Shield Plan is a medical insurance plan which offers additional benefits on top of that provided by MediShield.
At Oncocare Cancer Centre, Singapore, we are an accredited cancer centre for claims through Medishield, Medisave and Private Medical Insurance. More detailed information is also provided on the Ministry of Health’s website:
If you have international insurance plan that covers you globally, please contact your insurer to obtain information on your medical coverage. With a Letter of Guarantee, or credit arrangement with OncoCare, direct billing arrangement can be made with the insurer. This gives you the comfort of cashless treatment or you may only need to make payments for deductibles, co-payments and non-covered fees.
The international insurance plans include but not limit to the following:
For enquiries, please send medical reports to our appointment team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We should be able to give you a range of treatment cost, however, it should only be used as reference, as each patient ‘s condition is different.
Treatment plan & costs are usually discussed after our doctor sees the patient in Singapore and estimates how fit he/ she is.
We accept Cash in Singapore dollars, Credit cards, and bank transfer TT for treatment. Upon request, we will provide letter & instructions for bank transfer.
We don’t provide money exchange service but could help arrange for the money changer to meet you for currency exchange.
Advisory on COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak
The COVID-19 coronavirus infection is a global issue and the situation is rapidly evolving. Since the onset of the COVID-19 virus outbreak, the Singapore government has acted swiftly and taken decisive steps in stemming the spread of the infection. They are sparing no efforts in implementing a comprehensive array of precautionary measures to detect, contain and prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The latest measure implemented is the refusal of entry to all visitors (regardless of nationality) who have been to mainland China in last 14 days. All returning residents with recent travel history in mainland China will be quarantined for 14 days from the day of their return from China. The current situation in Singapore is calm, well managed and under control.
At OncoCare Cancer Centre, we are also monitoring the COVID-19 virus outbreak situation closely and taking guidance from the Ministry of Health. We are committed to taking care of our cancer patients during this outbreak. With our team of multiple oncologists in different hospital locations, we are able to function for our patients.
In line with national policy, we are conducting mandatory daily temperature checks on all OncoCare staff and also on all patients and visitors entering the clinics and hospital premises. In addition, we have increased the frequency of disinfection at all our clinics. Hand sanitizers are also readily available in all our clinics. Please rest assured that that the safety and well-being of our patients and staff are our top priority.
Click here to know more about what measures are put in place at OncoCare clinics: https://oncocare.sg/en/faqs_category/information-en/OncoCare precautionary measures in light of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019)
For further queries, please email us at email@example.com or contact the respective clinics for further updates.
Update on 17 Feb 2020
Information on the COVID-19 virus
While much remains to be known about the COVID-19 virus (2019-nCoV), emerging scientific studies are shedding light on the viral infectivity and transmission. In general, coronaviruses belong to a group of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to pneumonia. Primarily infecting animals usually, some coronaviruses have been known to affect humans. These caused the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers-CoV) in 2012.
The current outbreak of COVID-19 virus started with reports in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. It spread rapidly and internationally. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the COVID-19 virus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
Although the routes of transmission are yet to be definitely determined, there has been human to human transmission reported in several countries. The incubation period for the virus may be up to 14 days. Observing good personal hygiene is important in preventing transmission of the virus. Persons with fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath should put on a mask. They should seek medical attention and inform the doctor of any travel history. Handwashing and not touching one’s face are important in preventing the spread of the virus.