Cataract Surgery Cost Singapore: Public Hospitals vs. Private Eye Clinics

Cataract Surgery Cost Singapore: Public Hospitals vs. Private Eye Clinics

Cataracts surgery cost Singapore


Cataract surgery is a common and effective medical procedure for restoring clear vision in people suffering from cataracts. A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens in the eye. This condition leads to blurred vision and sensitivity to light, thus making daily activities more difficult. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). In Singapore, this procedure is readily available in both public hospitals and private eye clinics. In this article, we will delve into the specifics of cataract surgery, its purpose, and the factors influencing its cost. We will also compare the average cost and waiting time for surgery between public hospitals and private eye clinics in Singapore.

Understanding Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is a minimally invasive procedure performed under local anesthesia. The surgeon creates a small incision in the eye and uses advanced techniques to remove the cloudy lens. Once removed, an IOL is inserted to replace the natural lens, enabling improved vision. The procedure is usually completed within a short time, and patients can often return home on the same day.

Purpose Of Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is primarily aimed at enhancing vision quality and overall quality of life for people with cataracts. The procedure can significantly reduce or eliminate visual impairments caused by cataracts, such as blurry vision, glare sensitivity, and difficulty reading. By restoring clear vision, patients can resume daily activities, drive safely, and enjoy a better quality of life.

Cataract Surgery Cost Singapore – What Are The Factors?

The cost of cataract surgery in Singapore can vary based on several factors:

  • Hospital Type: Public hospitals and private eye clinics have different cost structures. Public hospitals and centres such as the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) generally offer subsidised rates for Singaporean citizens and permanent residents, making the procedure more affordable. Non-subsidised rates are also available in public hospitals. Private eye clinics, on the other hand, may offer more personalized services and additional amenities.
  • Type of IOL: The choice of intraocular lens can impact the cost. Premium IOLs that correct astigmatism or provide multifocal vision may incur higher costs compared to standard IOLs.
  • Surgeon’s Experience: Highly experienced surgeons may charge more for their expertise.
  • Hospital Facilities: The facilities and equipment available in the hospital or clinic may affect the overall cost.

Comparison of Cost and Waiting Time

Public hospitals typically have shorter longer waiting times for surgery due to lower prices and higher patient volume. According to the Ministry of Health, the average cost of subsidised cataract surgery in a Singapore public hospital can range from about S$1,100 to S$1,400 per eye (day surgery). Waiting times for surgery can vary. In a recent forum letter in the Straits Times published on 12 Aug 23, a member of the public said that he was informed by the SNEC that “the next available appointment date as a subsidised patient is in September 2024” due to shortage of doctors. If instead he took “the non-subsidised route, the waiting time is shorter and the earliest date available is in October (2023)”.

Private eye clinics have higher costs that can go to over S$9,000 per eye. A check with a few private eyes clinic reveals that an appointment for consultation with the doctor could be made within days, and the surgery scheduled as quickly as 2-3 weeks later.

Comparison Table For Estimated Waiting Time And Cataract Surgery Cost Singapore

 Public Hospital (Subsidised)Public Hospital (Non-Subsidised)Private Eye Clinic
Estimated Waiting Time For Appointment or Surgery1 year for appointment*2 months for appointment*2-3 weeks
Average Cost (based on MOH benchmarks)S$1,095 – S$1,398S$4,108 – S$5,269S$6,724 – S$9,364

* Based on unverified public feedback

** Information for the above table as of 23 Oct 23 (updated).

Financing Cataract Surgery In Singapore

Cataract surgery cost in Singapore is covered by Medisave as well as insurance. As of Aug 23, the maximum amount that may be claimed under Medisave for the procedure is $2,450 per eye. If the patient’s insurance policy covers Cataract Surgery, the procedure may be claimable in full. Patients should check with their insurance agent for more details.

Consult Our Preferred Ophthalmologist On Your Cataract Surgery

Dr David Goh is the Medical Director And Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist at NOVENA Bladeless Cataract Surgery & Eye Specialist Centre in Singapore. He is a fellowship-trained, specialist cataract, refractive and corneal surgeon who has performed cataract surgery for over 15 years. His ophthalmic training was mainly undertaken at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, the leading specialist eye facility in the UK, and one of the world’s principal eye centres. Since becoming a consultant at Singapore National Eye Centre in 2009, Dr Goh has built his practice and surgery around clinical excellence, reputation and trust.

Dr David Goh SKU

Schedule An Appointment With Dr David Goh

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This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

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