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What Influences the Cost of Endoscopy in Singapore?

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Endoscopy is a medical procedure that involves the use of a specialized instrument called an endoscope to examine the interior of a hollow organ or cavity of the body. In Singapore, endoscopy is commonly used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, particularly in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. 

However, the cost of endoscopy can vary widely, influenced by several factors. This article explores the key elements that affect endoscopy cost in Singapore, providing a comprehensive overview for those considering this procedure.

Type of Endoscopy

The type of endoscopy performed significantly impacts the overall cost. There are various types of endoscopies, each designed to examine different parts of the body:

Upper GI Endoscopy

An upper GI endoscopy, also known as esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), involves examining the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. This procedure is commonly used to diagnose conditions like ulcers, acid reflux, and celiac disease. The complexity and scope of the procedure contribute to its cost.


A colonoscopy is used to examine the colon and rectum. It is essential for screening and diagnosing colorectal cancer, polyps, and other conditions affecting the large intestine. The preparation required for a colonoscopy, including bowel cleansing, can add to the cost.


Bronchoscopy is performed to examine the airways and lungs. It is used to diagnose lung diseases, infections, and tumors. The need for sedation or anesthesia during this procedure can increase the cost.

Other Types

Other specialized endoscopies, such as endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) for bile duct and pancreatic duct examination, or cystoscopy for bladder examination, also have specific cost considerations based on their complexity and the equipment used.

Location and Facility

The cost of endoscopy can vary significantly depending on where the procedure is performed:

Public Hospitals

Public hospitals in Singapore, generally offer lower costs for endoscopy procedures due to government subsidies. However, patients may experience longer waiting times.

Private Hospitals and Clinics

Private hospitals and specialized clinics offer shorter waiting times and more personalized care but at a higher cost. They are known for their advanced medical technology and patient comfort, which contribute to the higher prices.

Doctor’s Fees and Expertise

The expertise and reputation of the doctor performing the endoscopy can also influence the cost. Highly experienced specialists or those with advanced training in endoscopic procedures may charge higher fees. Patients often prefer experienced doctors to ensure accuracy and reduce the risk of complications, justifying the additional expense.

Anesthesia and Sedation

The use of anesthesia or sedation during an endoscopy procedure can affect the cost. While some endoscopies may be performed with minimal sedation, others require general anesthesia, particularly if the procedure is more complex or the patient is anxious. The involvement of an anesthesiologist and the type of anesthesia used will add to the overall cost.

Pre-Procedure Tests and Preparations

Before undergoing an endoscopy, patients may need to undergo several pre-procedure tests and preparations. These can include blood tests, imaging studies, and consultations. For example, a colonoscopy requires bowel preparation, which involves consuming special solutions to clear the intestines. These preparatory steps, along with any necessary medications, contribute to the total cost of the procedure.

Post-Procedure Care and Follow-Up

Post-procedure care is another factor that influences the endoscopy cost in Singapore. After the procedure, patients may need to stay in the recovery area for monitoring, especially if sedation or anesthesia was used. Follow-up consultations and additional treatments or tests based on the endoscopy findings can also add to the overall expense. Comprehensive post-procedure care ensures that any complications are promptly addressed, enhancing patient safety and outcomes.

Insurance Coverage and Subsidies


Insurance coverage plays a crucial role in determining out-of-pocket expenses for endoscopy. Health insurance policies in Singapore often cover endoscopic procedures, especially if they are deemed medically necessary. However, the extent of coverage varies among insurance providers and plans. Patients should check with their insurance company to understand the coverage details and any potential copayments or deductibles.

Government Subsidies

Singaporean citizens and permanent residents can benefit from government subsidies for endoscopic procedures performed in public hospitals. Schemes such as the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) and MediSave can help reduce the financial burden. These subsidies make essential diagnostic and therapeutic procedures more accessible to a broader population.

Complexity of the Procedure

The complexity of the endoscopic procedure itself can significantly influence the cost. Simple diagnostic endoscopies typically cost less than therapeutic endoscopies, which may involve interventions such as polyp removal, biopsy, or stent placement. The duration of the procedure and the equipment used also contribute to the complexity and cost. Advanced techniques, such as endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) or capsule endoscopy, require specialized equipment and expertise, further increasing the cost.


Several factors influence the cost of endoscopy in Singapore, including the type of endoscopy, location and facility, doctor’s fees and expertise, anesthesia and sedation, pre-procedure tests and preparations, post-procedure care and follow-up, insurance coverage and subsidies, and the complexity of the procedure. Understanding these factors can help patients make informed decisions about their healthcare and manage the financial aspects of undergoing an endoscopic procedure.

By considering all these elements, patients can better navigate the healthcare system and choose the best options for their medical needs and budget. Whether opting for a public hospital with subsidies or a private clinic with advanced facilities, being informed about the various cost components ensures that patients are prepared for the financial commitment involved in undergoing an endoscopy.

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