Here's How Much You Should Be Spending On Your Colonoscopy

Here’s How Much You Should Be Spending On Your Colonoscopy

May 27, 2020

People often dismiss the occasional stomach discomfort, such as bloating, flatulence, or cramps. However, if these symptoms persist for longer than usual, or is significantly affecting your daily life, it is definitely worth it to get it checked out by a doctor. Yet, some people may avoid going to a specialist in gastroenterology for their symptoms, due to the hassle and costs involved.

Doing due research to find the best doctors and reasonable rates is thus of utmost importance. Let us help you make a more informed decision with some benchmarks and breakdowns of the costs typically involved in getting a colonoscopy and gastroscopy – two common methods for diagnosing gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.

Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is a procedure used to examine the lower GI tract, namely, the large intestine. Thus, it is performed to investigate the cause of digestive issues like chronic diarrhoea, chronic constipation, or blood in stools. Colonoscopy is also a highly effective examination technique for the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up to patients with colorectal cancer, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and more.

Average cost of colonoscopy in Singapore (fees indicate total bill amount)

Public hospital (with government subsidies)Private hospital
Colonoscopy screening$397-*
Diagnostic colonoscopy (day surgery)$576$2,590
Diagnostic colonoscopy (in-patient)$1,365 (Ward C)
$1,827 (Ward B2)
$7,063

*Average cost unavailable due to insufficient data points

Many factors can influence the cost of colonoscopy. Colonoscopy for general screening purposes is usually kept more affordable. Diagnostic colonoscopy for the purposes of identifying specific conditions is slightly costlier. With the addition of procedures like removing growths, taking biopsies, or other treatments performed using colonoscopy, the fees will increase due to increase complexity, histological examination ( by pathologist) and use of special instruments during the procedure.

Another consideration to make is the choice of hospital you choose, and whether you decide to undergo the procedure on an out-patient or in-patient basis. Out-patient colonoscopy at a public hospital generally are more cost efficient for Singaporean citizen and permanent residence due to government subsidies. However, the process requiring assessment by polyclinic doctor follows by referral letter to specialist for further evaluation before deciding on the need for endoscopy. Some patient may prefer a more private, personalized experience or prefer to choose a specialist of their choice. In such circumstances, you can opt to see a private gastroenterologist to have the endoscopy done in private hospital.

Gastroscopy

Gastroscopy is a type of endoscopy used to examine the upper GI tract, which includes the oesophagus, stomach, and the upper portion of the small intestine. It is commonly employed to assess the cause of GI symptoms like heartburn, difficulty swallowing, persistent vomiting, and bloatedness. Gastroscopy is also involved in the diagnosis and examination of conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach ulcer, stomach cancer, gastritis, and more.

Average cost of gastroscopy in Singapore (fees indicate total bill amount)

Public hospital (with government subsidies)Private hospital
Gastroscopy (day surgery)$342$2,139
Gastroscopy (in-patient)$1,387 (Ward C)
$1,655 (Ward B2)
$7,363

Like with colonoscopy, the cost of receiving a gastroscopy is also influenced by factors such as additional procedures required, the type of medical facility, and whether the procedure is done on an in-patient or out-patient basis.

At the end of the day, how much you spend on your colonoscopy or endoscopy is dependent on your budget, level of service expected, and whether additional procedures are needed. For local citizen and permanent residents, you can use medisave to cover part of the cost to reduce the overall cash payment. If you have personal insurance, you should speak to your insurance agent and your doctor to find out if your insurance policy covers day surgery procedure claims. To find out more about Singapore’s cost for various medical procedures, you can also explore the Ministry of Health’s portal for more fee benchmarks based on past transacted bills.

 

This article is written by Dr Chong Chern Hao. 

Dr Chong is a gastroenterologist in Mount Elizabeth Hospital specialized in endoscopic procedures such as gastroscopy and colonoscopy ( including polyp removal).


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