Asia’s Medical Tourism Destination #1: Singapore

Singapore is a major medical tourism destination and one of the five hottest spots for medical treatments in Asia.

Visitors can select from a wide range of services to enhance their health and well being. These include health screening, medical wellness, aesthetic and anti-ageing programmes.

This island city boast a growing list of number 1 spots under its belt. No. 1 port, airport, mathematical geniuses… and the list goes on. Medical treatments’ standard is top notch, and service is uniformly excellent.

It is therefore no surprise that Singapore is a popular destination for medical tourism as well as medical evacuations in the region. Prices are also generally lower than the West, although may be more expensive compared to its neighbors in the region. Three key agencies, the Economic Development Board, the Singapore Tourism Board and the International Enterprise Singapore have come together under the Singapore Medicine Banner to develop the Republic in one of Asia’s leading health care destinations.

Statistics in 2003 showed that 230,000 foreigners sought medical treatments here. Singapore Medicine is aiming to serve one million foreign patients a year by 2012 and generate $3 billion in revenues and create at least 13,000 jobs in the medical tourism industry.

Singapore provides the complete spectrum of healthcare services from primary care such as health screening, to quaternary care services such as organ transplants. Tourists coming for medical treatments also come to Singapore for a broad range of specialist care including Cardiology, Gynaecology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Oncology, Otorhinolaryngology, Urology, Neurosurgery and Opthalmology, besides General Surgery and General Medicine.

The country specializes in services for cardiology, ophthalmology, and oncology. Singapore is also a thriving dental hub.

Singapore’s Dental Care

Some of the most advanced dental care in Asia can be found in Singapore. The island has one of the highest dentist-population ratio of 1:5,000, and almost half of the population here adhere to the twice a year visit to the dentist.

Here, the dental infrastructure is of the highest quality, with most of the equipment and dental products manufactured abroad. The equipment are also well maintained according to stringent criteria, ensuring that dental care is prompt and professional, and of course, safe.

With the high standard of dental care, Singapore is Southeast Asia’s dentistry center and you would come here for the best dental treatment available. Patients seeking treatment come from western countries, but dentists here also see to many patients from neighboring countries like Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

So if you are looking to brighten that smile of yours, straighten the wry tooth gone crooked or perhaps even to change your whole set of smilies altogether, Singapore may just be the country to make you smile once more.

In 1996, Singapore coined a “Smile Singapore” campaign. The island was then worried about its tourism industry, and decreed that Singaporeans should put on a happy face when meeting a visitor to the country. Fast forward 10 years, the island has done away with the slogan for a new one that is “Uniquely Singapore”, and has even more to grin about. It has found a new niche in medical tourism to earn those fickle tourist dollars.

Bekal Beach Camp Beckons Tourists

Tourism in Kasaragod district is often considered synonymous with the tiny town of Bekal. The beach at Bekal and the Bekal Fort, which stands adjacent to it present visitors with wonderful windows to both natural beauty and history.

The development of Bekal Beach is headed towards making it the first planned beach destination in India. Bekal is a ‘green field’ destination as is evident in its colour and the foreground greenery.

‘Beach Camp’, the first property of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) Hotels and Resorts in Bekal was inaugurated by Mr Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Minister for Tourism. The Beach Camp, with 30 cottages, will come up on two hectares of land situated between the Bekal beach park and the tsunami park. The State owned Bekal Resorts Development Corporation has leased out the land for 30 years. Beach Camp will be the first property of the KTDC in the Malabar region and its 32nd resort.

The cottages resembling a tent will be constructed using the ‘knock down Technology’. Cottages will be constructed using eco-friendly materials without causing any harm to the environment and the beach. Each cottage will offer the guests a spectacular view of the Bekal Fort and its surroundings. The work of 20 cottages will be completed within 6 months. More coconut trees will be planted here by the KTDC to make the destination more beautiful and green.

Another 10 cottages and a swimming pool will be constructed in the second phase. The property will have an Ayurvedic centre as the KTDC plans to market beach and ayurveda.

As part of the government’s efforts to develop tourism in Malabar, KTDC will also construct its premium properties in Kozhikode and on the Muzhappilangad beaches Union Government has declared Bekal as a special tourism area in 1992 and an investment of Rs 750 crore is estimated in Bekal, for integrated resort development.

4 Facts on the High Speed Rail That Connects Singapore and Malaysia

Singapore and Malaysia is separated by slightly more than one kilometre based on the length of the Johor-Singapore Causeway which was opened in 1923. Besides the Causeway, citizens from both Malaysia and Singapore have many other travel options to visit their neighbouring country. But what is so special about relationship between these two countries?

Singapore was part of Malaysia for more than two years from 1963 to 1965. After the British exit its 144-year ruling of Singapore, the Federation of Malaysia was formed together with Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak. However, racial tensions became a genuine problem in Singapore. Over the two year period, the problem intensified, and racial riots and curfews were common.

Moreover, the government of the Federation of Malaysia was concerned that as long as Singapore remained a part of the Federation, there would be differences in views on racial harmony. There was the general feeling that Malays and the indigenous population in the Federation will be undermined. On 7 August 1965, Singapore officially broke off from Malaysia.

Despite leaving the Federation, it does not affect relationships between the two countries. In fact, Malaysia is Singapore’s biggest trading partner in 2012. To deepen ties between the two countries, a second causeway between Singapore and Malaysia officially opened on 2 January 1998. Measuring 1,920 metres, the second causeway links the western part of Singapore at Tuas to the western part of the state of Johor at Gelang Patah.

In 2007, economic collaboration between Singapore and Malaysia moved a step closer with the establishment of the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia. Iskandar Malaysia refers to the extensive development of the southern Malaysia State of Johor. The development covers an area of 2,217 square kilometres which comprise the city of Johor Bahru, towns like Pontian, Senai and Pasir Gudang. On 19 February 2013, leaders from Singapore and Malaysia stuck a landmark agreement to build a High Speed Rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to further spearhead the development of Iskandar Malaysia.

Let’s take a look at four key facts of the upcoming High Speed Rail:

1) The entire length of the High Speed Rail is expected to measure 350 kilometres and will cut travelling time between Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to just 90 minutes.

2) There will be a total of 8 stations along the High Speed Rail with 7 stations in Malaysia and 1 station in Singapore. The stations in Malaysia are Kuala Lumpur. Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri. The station in Singapore will be at Jurong East.

3) There will be 3 immigration facilities located at Kuala Lumpur, Iskandar Puteri and Sngapore Jurong East. International passengers travelling on the High Speed Rail will clear immigration of both countries once at the point of departure. This should ensure speedy travel procedure for travellers.

4) This is the 1st High Speed Rail in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nation) and hopefully there will be more such projects linking travellers to other ASEAN countries.