What you need to know about health screening in Singapore

A great gift that you can give to you and your family is investing in health. Keeping the body in check and free from diseases enables you to be more productive and enjoy a longer life span with your family. One way to invest in you and your family’s health is by undergoing health screening in Singapore

Health screening: What is it about?

There are times when we look and feel healthy, but are unaware that there are already medical conditions that are starting to develop in the body. Undergoing a health screening is a way to keep us a couple of steps ahead from these illnesses to fester.

Health screening is a set of physical examinations, tests, and other medical procedures that helps in detecting diseases and conditions in the body earlier, with or without any symptoms present. Health screening enables doctors to diagnose certain conditions and plan for management and treatment, which lessens the probability of a disease advancing to a more serious state and increases a patient’s chances of getting cured.

What are recommended health screenings for adults in Singapore?

The Ministry of Health in Singapore has recommended three categories for health screenings:

  • First Category – These are general health screenings that are beneficial for men and women when they reach a certain age in life. 
  • Second Category – The health screenings under this category may only be advantageous to some depending on their family medical history and level of risks they have for certain diseases and conditions. 
  • Third Category – These are health screenings not recommended for use by the MOH to detect specific diseases. 

Below are the general health screenings (first category) recommended for adults:

18 years old and up

  1. Health condition: Obesity
  • Screening test/s: Body Mass Index (BMI); Waist circumference
  • Frequency: Annually
  1. Health condition: High blood pressure / Hypertension
  • Screening test/s: Blood pressure measurement
  • Frequency: Interval of two years or as recommended by your doctor

40 years old and up

  1. Health condition: Diabetes mellitus
  • Screening test/s: Fasting blood sugar; HbA1c
  • Frequency: Every three years or as recommended by your doctor
  1. Health condition: High Blood / Hyperlipidaemia
  • Screening test/s: Fasting and non-fasting lipids
  • Frequency: Interval of three years or as recommended by your doctor

50 years old and up

  1. Health condition: Colorectal cancer
  • Screening test/s: Colonoscopy OR Faecal Immunochemical Test 
  • Frequency: Interval of five years for colonoscopy OR annually for faecal immunochemical test 

Additional suggested health screening for women

Cervical cancer screening For 25-69 year old women who have had sex or have an increased risk of developing this disease.

  • Age recommended: 25-29 years old
  • Screening test/s: Pap smear
  • Frequency: Every three years
  • Age recommended: 30 years old and above
  • Screening test/s: HPV Test
  • Frequency: Every five years

Breast cancer screening – General screening normally recommended for women 50 years old and above, but screening at an earlier age may be recommended by a doctor for women who have a high risk of developing this disease (Category 2 health screening). 

  • Age recommended: 50-69 years old
  • Screening test/s: Mammogram
  • Frequency: Every two years

How do I know which health screening I should take?

General health screenings belonging to category1 are recommended for everyone, while comprehensive screenings under category 2 are suitable for individuals in addition to the general health screenings who are at high risk of developing diseases that are part of their family medical history. Getting a doctor’s opinion is the best way to know what additional health screenings you need.

Should health screenings be done once only?

The results of health screenings only show your body’s condition at the time that you have taken the tests. Hence, health screenings only should be done frequently as recommended despite getting normal results. This will help your doctor monitor your health as you age and make sure that you are free from any symptoms of a certain disease. If your results have detected abnormalities, let your doctor know even when you are perfectly fine and do not feel any signs or symptoms.Your doctor will be able to advise on how you should manage your health to keep the disease from developing or progressing.   

There may be instances when signs and symptoms appear after undergoing a health screening. If this happens, it is imperative that you should consult with your doctor immediately. 

Are health screenings subsidised by the Singapore Government?

There are some health screenings subsidised by the Singapore Government, but only for Singapore citizens and permanent residents. Eligible patients can avail subsidies under the following:

  • Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS)
  • Pioneer Generation (PG)
  • Merdeka Generation (MG)
  • Screen for Life Program (SFL)  

The subsidies vary depending on these factors:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Last date of health screening
  • Pre-existing conditions

Subsidised health screenings are only available at CHAS clinics and selected polyclinics. 

Can Medisave be used to pay for health screenings?

Medisave can only cover a few health screenings at partial costs. These are:

  • Colonoscopy costs for individuals aged 50 and up at specific centres for colonoscopy screening.
  • Mammogram costs for women aged 50 and up at specific centres for mammogram screening.
  • Outpatient costs for patients diagnosed with chronic conditions that are categorised under the Chronic Disease Management Program (CDMP).

Where should you go for health screenings?

Health screenings are available at private clinics as well as selected health centres in Singapore. Family clinics like Zest Clinic offer various health screening packages.  

Final word

Keeping diseases at bay and enjoying your life to the fullest can be done by undergoing health screenings. In Singapore, the Ministry of Health recommends different health screenings for adults to take once they reach a certain age. Eligible Singapore citizens and permanent residents can avail of subsidies provided by the government for some medical tests and procedures at accredited local health centres. Individuals who have Medisave may also use this depending on eligibility. If you wish to skip the line at government health centres, you can always find a private clinic that offers health screening packages. 

Our doctors at Zest Clinic can help you know more about the benefits of health screenings. You may visit them at Marine Parade or contact them through their website for further information.

Zest Clinic

Precious Medical Centre

80 Marine Parade Road

#01-11B Parkway Parade

Singapore 449269


+65 9176 9378

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