Gleneagles Hospital Singapore

Expat Medical Insurance Story: Deborah’s Hip Replacement in Singapore

The Situation

Deborah is a work-at-home Australian expat mother of one residing in Singapore. She moved from Sydney to Singapore.  

“I relocated to Singapore because of my husband’s work. I settled here with my husband and my daughter,” she explains.  

“The quality of life in Singapore is very high. The three of us are in love with Singapore’s weather and don’t miss the cold one! The dishes are incredible and the vibe of the city means we always have many activities to enjoy,” she continues. 

“Occasionally we cannot take too much humidity. We also miss the spectacular beaches of Sydney!” she adds. 

The Problem

Following months of taking alternatives of total hip replacement surgery, Deborah still experienced pain in her groin which was what happened due to osteoarthritis in her hip. For more information about Hip Replacements, read our “Expat guide to Hip replacements” here.

“I have already tried all the alternatives that I was able to do to become more dynamic and make my muscles stronger. They included cycling, yoga, walking and stretching. But the pain still persists. I am cornered to quit tennis, a sport I am in love with. Besides, I have to use a cane.” mourns Downer, who leads a retired expatriate life in downtown Singapore.    

“After all of this, I know for a fact that I need both of my hips installed,” says Downer. She had both of her hips replaced in June. “What a phenomenon! One day you get awake and the pain disappears. I managed to walk around the hospital ward the third day after the surgery.” 

She does her morning exercises on a daily basis with help from her husband Uziah. In addition, she uses an elastic band which helps her make her muscles stronger. 

hip replacement singapore

She has quit using her walker and is currently using a cane to go out and about. “I feel it’s like a shield. The pain I had earlier no longer exists. I feel slightly uncomfortable. My expectation was to make some improvement but it’s fairly great. I would definitely recommend it.” 

The length of usage of Artificial hips is between 15 and 20 years.  

The Solution

“At Gleneagles Hospital Singapore, I am given a checkup by a physiotherapist that includes a medical history, X-ray results, a physical record and an overview of their choices.” shares Downer.” 

“Overall, Singapore’s healthcare system is state-of-the-art. You can easily access both the private and the public hospitals.” She continues.

“Although they say healthcare in Singapore has many downsides and all the rest of it. However, from what I experience healthcare provided by Gleneagles Hospital Singapore myself, I have to share with you that it is one of the best medical providers in Singapore and perhaps in Asia!” 

“The most important reason is the international medical insurance policy, that I had with me, worked very well with the hospital” she explains.  

“The claims process was simple and hassle-free. The insurer’s mobile app made the medical claim possible in just a few clicks. The insurer was also fast at processing the claim for me. I was covered for all the different methods of medical treatment for total hip replacement which was amazing. The bill for my surgery was direct billing, meaning that it was paid directly to the hospital. This way I had no need to pay first and claim back which was brilliant. It was a privilege when you did not need to make an out-of-pocket payment on your own.” she discusses openly. 

“Many of my friends who visited public hospitals share negative experiences of total hip replacement surgeries. Inadequate edgy medical equipment and barely any real medical specialists and most of the time there is a need to get transferred to a private hospital such as Gleneagles Hospital Singapore for more appropriate treatment. But I do appreciate this can’t always be the case.” continues Downer. 

“My single best piece of advice for people who were going to have total hip replacement surgery while in Singapore is to get health insurance because despite the high price of total hip arthroplasty, the amount of the premium I paid really ended up less than the total figure I claimed for.” she concludes. 

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