Guide To Finding The Best Kidney Specialist In Singapore & Treatment Of Chronic Kidney Disease

Guide To Finding The Best Kidney Specialist In Singapore & Treatment Of Chronic Kidney Disease

Guide to finding the best kidney specialist in Singapore


Chronic kidney disease is a condition without a cure and has to be carefully managed over the long term. While there is no definitive “best kidney specialist” in Singapore, it is nonetheless vital to find the right doctor for you. This guide serves to suggest ways you can find the specialist best suited for you, and also presents a brief explanation of the treatments you might expect for managing the disease.

When Should You See A Kidney Specialist?

Patients should consider consulting a renal or kidney specialist when they have:

  • Chronic kidney disease, particularly if it is progressing or is in the later stages (stages 3-5).
  • Acute kidney injury, i.e. sudden loss of kidney function.
  • Persistent abnormalities in urine tests, such as proteinuria (protein in urine) and/or haematuria (blood in urine.
  • Diabetes complicated with kidney disease.
  • Hypertension complicated with kidney disease.
  • Family history of genetic kidney disease.
  • Persistent or severe imbalances in electrolytes (such as sodium, potassium, calcium, or phosphate).
  • Uncontrolled blood pressure despite on 3 to 4 blood pressure lowering pills.
  • Unexplained swelling, especially in the legs, ankles, or around the eyes.
  • Systemic diseases affecting kidneys such as lupus, vasculitis, or amyloidosis.

Top Tips When Looking For The “Best Kidney Specialist” In Singapore

Here are our top tips on searching for the kidney specialist best suited for your needs.

Tip #1 Doctor With The Right Qualifications And Expertise

You will want to find a doctor with the qualifications, expertise and experience in managing your condition, be it chronic kidney disease or other kidney or related diseases.

Tip #2 Find A Doctor That You Have Good Compatibility With

Beyond the doctor’s expertise, it important to find a doctor that you feel comfortable with discussing your condition and treatment options. This is particularly the case for chronic conditions whereby you might be seeing the same doctor for many years. For instance, you will want to find a doctor who will set aside the time to adequately address your questions and doubts. In addition, it is also important that the staff at the clinic is friendly and helpful.

Top #3 get Recommendations From Family, Friends, Or Family Doctors

If you have family members or friends that have seen a kidney specialist recently, they might be able to recommend one to you based on their experience. Your regular family doctor can also recommend good a kidney specialist based on your requirements.

Tip #4 Search Online For Recommendations

You can expand your range of 3rd party opinions by searching online for doctor reviews or comments by patients. Do be mindful that different patients have different requirements and expectations, so take recommendations from strangers online with a grain of salt.

Tip #5 Insurance Panel

Long term medical costs for chronic kidney disease can be substantial. If you have health insurance, make sure that the chosen clinic is on the panel of your insurance provider.

Chronic Kidney Disease Treatment In Singapore

There is currently no cure for chronic kidney disease. As such, treatment is instead focused on:

  • Managing the conditions that are most likely causing the chronic kidney disease (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, or IgA nephropathy).
  • Slowing slow down the progression of the chronic kidney disease.
  • Lowering the patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease (e.g. a heart attack or stroke).
  • Treating complications arising from chronic kidney disease.

Specific treatments that the kidney specialist may order will depend on your disease stage and what health conditions you may have.

Treatments For Managing Chronic Kidney Disease

  • Medications For High Blood Pressure – Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, or other medications may be prescribed for lowering blood pressure and to preserve kidney function.
  • Medications For Swelling Relief – Chronic kidney disease can often result in fluid retention and swelling in the legs. Diuretics can be prescribed help maintain the balance of fluids in the body.
  • Medications For Anaemia – Certain supplements can help the body to produce more red blood cells, which could relieve fatigue and weakness associated with anaemia.
  • Medications For High Cholesterol – The kidney specialist might prescribe statins to lower the patient’s cholesterol level, as patients will often have high levels of bad cholesterol and elevated risk of heart disease.
  • Medications For Protecting The Bones – Patients with chronic kidney disease are at risk of having weakened bones. Calcium and vitamin D supplements may be prescribed to reduce the risk of weak bones and fractures. Phosphate binder medication lowers the amount of phosphate in the blood and protect blood vessels from calcification damage.
  • Dietary Changes – A diet lower in protein helps to minimise waste products in the blood and reduce the burden on the kidneys.

Treatment For End-Stage Kidney Disease

A patient has end-stage kidney disease when the kidneys are not able to keep up with waste and fluid clearance on their own. Options for treatment (also known as Kidney Replacement Therapy) at that point includes:

Dialysis – This is a process whereby waste products and extra fluid is removed from the blood. The modality may be hemodialysis, whereby a machine filters waste and excess fluids from the blood, or peritoneal, whereby the abdominal cavity is filled with a dialysis solution that (i) absorbs waste and excess fluids (ii) is drained from the body after some time.

Kidney transplant – This involves the patient receives surgically a healthy kidney from a donor (who may be deceased or living donor). Medications will be needed for the rest of the patient’s life to prevent the body from rejecting the donated kidney. Patients who receive kidneys from live donors have a higher survival rate than for those who receive kidneys from deceased donors.

Kidney transplantation in Singapore is carried out in both public and private hospitals accredited by the Ministry of Health. The private hospital that has a living donor kidney transplant programme in Singapore is Mount Elizabeth Hospital. Deceased donor kidney transplant is currently only carried out in 2 public hospitals, namely Singapore General Hospital and National University Hospital.

According to a Straits Times report – the average waiting time in Singapore for patients who received kidneys in 2023 from deceased donors was 9 years.

Cost Of Chronic Kidney Disease Treatment In Singapore

According to a report by Channel New Asia (in partnership with the National Kidney Foundation):

  • Medication for chronic kidney disease may cost around S$50 a month.
  • Haemodialysis cost typically starts at S$2,500 per month.
  • Peritoneal dialysis costs between S$1,300 and S$2,000 per month.

Cost Of Kidney Transplant In Singapore

In Singapore, the kidney transplant programme is closely regulated. Commercial kidney transplantation is strictly prohibited under the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA), which aims to prevent organ trading and commercialisation. Information regarding the cost of kidney transplantation in Singapore is not publicly available.

Kidney Specialist In Singapore

If you are looking for a renal physician in Singapore, our list here may provide a starting point: Chronic Kidney Disease In Singapore Is An Overlooked Danger.


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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.