Singapore - Country Commercial Guide

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-08-11


Singapore ranks 12th in the 2021 World Index of Healthcare Innovation and provides universal coverage for its citizens with multiple layers of care.  Among its ASEAN peers, it spends the most annually in healthcare on a per capita basis and this is expected to rise faster than GDP given the country’s aging population and changes in demographics.  According to the Ministry of Health, the Singapore National Health Expenditure could increase to $43 billion in 2030.  Healthcare spending, comprising both public and private healthcare expenditure, is expected to account for 5.9% of GDP and could go up to 9.0% by that same time.  This increase is largely attributed to rising government spending on healthcare, as well as the local population’s consumption of healthcare services, attributed largely to an aging population and a trend towards earlier diagnosis of chronic conditions, close monitoring and follow-up. 

Singapore serves as the healthcare and medical hub of the region and offers Asia’s best healthcare system.  The Joint Commission International (JCI) has accredited 13 Singapore hospitals and healthcare facilities.  Each year, Singapore draws almost 500,000 patients with its high-quality healthcare.  Prominent international healthcare and research organizations such as Duke University, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, and JCI have established a presence here.  The research institutes work with scientists here to accelerate drug discovery and develop therapies for unmet healthcare needs.

Singapore has strong fundamentals in healthcare excellence.  This emphasis on quality care has enabled the country to achieve high life expectancies, fourth in the world, and the lowest infant mortality in the world.  The challenge is it has one of the fastest aging populations in Asia, which will translate to a greater demand for specialized elderly care amid rising costs. 

In 2021, imports of medical equipment and supplies to Singapore increased by 23% over the previous year.  U.S. medical equipment and supplies accounted for 14% of market share.  On average, more than 70% of products imported into Singapore are subsequently re-exported.

The outlook for 2022 will likely see a significant increase in imports and local production.  This is due to the global economy picking up, stabilizing of supply chains, easing of border restrictions and a steady return to normalcy.  Based on available data, the market for medical devices is anticipated to grow this year and imports are expected to increase by more than 20%. 

Medical devices are regulated under the Health Products Act and Health Products (Medical Devices) regulations.  Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) oversees the system of statutory control aimed to safeguard the quality, safety and efficacy of medical devices available in Singapore.  Almost all medical devices are regulated.  Class A medical devices supplied in a non-sterile state are exempted, however, Class A sterile, Class B, C, and D medical devices are subject to product registration requirements.  Classification rules are adopted from the guidance developed by the Global Harmonization Task Force (GHTF).

The Ministry of Health aims to license telemedicine services by this year as part of the phasing in of the upcoming Healthcare Services Act.  The Health Services Bill is expected to replace the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act in 2023. The broadened scope of this new Act will include healthcare services, allied health and nursing services, traditional medicine and complementary and alternative medicine. 

ASEAN has been developing a uniform system for registering and assessing medical devices across the ten-member countries.  Various ASEAN economies have started adopting of the ASEAN Medical Device Directive (AMDD).  This requires ASEAN countries to adopt uniform classification criteria for medical devices.  This bodes well for U.S. medical device manufacturers as they will be able to easily access a common medical device market with a market size of more than 600 million people.  Adherence to the basic principles of the AMDD in ASEAN will likely take place over the next few years.

Table: Healthcare Market Size, million USD





2022 estimated

Total Local Production





Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the US





Total Market Size





Exchange Rates





Units: $ millions
Source: IHS Markit

Leading Sub-Sectors

Healthcare demand and spending will increase due to an aging population, heavier chronic disease burdens, advances in technology and a more well-informed and perceptive population.  Combined with medical facility constraints, Singapore will likely see a rebalance of its healthcare system towards more home-based care. There will be opportunities to introduce telecare initiatives as the healthcare system gradually evolves towards being less hospital-centric and pivot towards more outpatient care.  The advent of telecare, remote patient monitoring will be of strategic importance to pharmaceutical companies as medical professionals will be better able to monitor patients’ adherence to treatment, and as more patients are affected by multiple chronic conditions that require multiple pharmaceutical products. 

The Health Ministry’s mandate is to deliver affordable healthcare, ensure good medical outcomes, reduce illness and promote good health, and ensure that the country is resilient against communicable disease threats and civil emergencies.  A $5.6 billion budget has been allocated to address infrastructure concerns in the short and long term, as well as to support healthcare provisions and subsidies for the poor.  The three key areas of focus are healthcare infrastructure, healthcare delivery, and managing the associated costs and issues related to an aging population.  This budget also includes larger subsidies for surgical implants, the treatment and management of chronic diseases, as well as funding programs to promote healthy lifestyle and active-aging programs.

For the long term, the Singapore government remains committed to ensuring that the national healthcare system keeps pace with global medical advancements.  To keep up with advances in biomedical science and encourage the development of new clinical treatments for Singaporeans, the Ministry of Health, in partnership with A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) and several other governmental bodies, have invested in clinical and translational research.  The aim is to augment Singapore’s medical capabilities in the public healthcare system and position Singapore as the premier regional medical services hub. Singapore has also embarked on an ambitious ten-year study to use genomic data to improve public health. PRECISE which stands for Precision Health Research Singapore, aims to generate 100,000 genomes comprising Singapore’s major ethnic groups and use the results to tailor customized healthcare for the population.  This project is touted as Southeast Asia’s most comprehensive consented population study and the genomes will be analyzed to yield insights into Asia-specific diseases and take a customized approach for preventive care and treatment.

U.S. exporters that provide cutting-edge technology, laboratory and testing equipment, and services for the healthcare and research communities will find Singapore a lucrative market.  In December 2020, RIE2025, also known as the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Plan, was launched with a $19.23 billion budget and will be organized across four domains, with human health and potential being one of them.

The elderly (defined as over 65 years) currently represents 10.7% of the total population, highest among all the other ASEAN countries.  Within the next 20 years, Singapore will experience what is known as ‘hyper-aging.’  Over a quarter of the population will be 65 years and older by 2030.  As such, more facilities for the elderly, such as nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, need to be built.  The demand for services such as geriatric medicine, home-based patient monitoring, memory care, and rehabilitation medicine are expected to rise.  U.S. firms specializing in elder-care products and services will find a robust and growing market in Singapore.   


The national healthcare expenditure has recorded increases every year and the demand for healthcare has grown substantially as a result of population growth and aging.  The Singapore National Health Expenditure could increase to S$59 billion in 2030.  The Ministry of Health is in the midst of a major revamp of the public sector subsidy structure aimed to better target resources amid an aging population and those with greater need. 

Broadly speaking, the opportunities are in health IT solutions that focus on telemedicine, telecare, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and the protection of data contained in electronic health records and data sharing.  Others include personal health management, health screening, disease management, preventive care products, access to homecare resources, and advanced technologies that would enable seamless integrated healthcare.   

Government hospitals account for 80% of all hospital beds in Singapore while the private sector accounts for 20%. Demand for medical equipment comes from public and private hospitals and clinics.  The Health Ministry is the largest consumer, accounting for nearly 75% of local demand. Parkway Hospitals Singapore, the largest private sector healthcare provider in Singapore, is also a significant buyer of medical equipment.  More than 80% of local demand is met through imports and there is a premium placed on American-made products.  U.S. manufacturers with innovative products will find Singapore a good marketplace.

Singapore will invest in primary care infrastructure such as polyclinics and community health centers.  Other areas include innovative models of treating patients, artificial intelligence and robotics.  Digital technologies that focus on cybersecurity and the protection of medical health records are also of interest.  This is especially important as the National Electronic Health Record (NEHR) project, launched a decade ago and valued at US$144 million, will mean that each citizen will have his or her own electronic medical record.

Between now and 2035, parts of the Singapore General Hospital, to be renamed the Outram Campus and Community Hospital, will expand with major redevelopment of Singapore’s oldest and largest hospital.  This will strengthen the continuum of care by providing 545 beds, mostly for sub-acute care as well as a palliative care wing.  More polyclinics will be built, bringing the total to 32 by 2030.  Other infrastructure projects include the Woodlands Integrated Health Campus to be completed in 2023, the redevelopment of Alexandra Hospital, ready by 2030, a new integrated acute and community hospital in the east, National Cancer Centre and the existing Tan Tock Seng Hospital Integrated Care Hub.  All these projects are scheduled to be completed by 2036.


Trade Shows

Asia Pacific Medtech Forum

2023 (Dates yet to be confirmed)

VitaFoods Asia

November 10-12, 2023

International Dental Exhibition and Meeting (IDEM)

April 19-21, 2024


Singapore Government Offices

Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH)

MOH Office for Healthcare Transformation (MOHT)

Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS)

Health Sciences Authority (HSA)

Health Promotion Board (HPB)

Agency for Integrated Care (AIC)

Singapore Economic Development Board (SEDB)

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

Precision Health Research, Singapore (PRECISE)  


U.S. Commercial Service, Singapore Contact

Ms. Luanne Theseira, Commercial Specialist