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Where To Go for Free Baby Immunisation in Singapore

KIDS, MOTHERHOOD | 8 comments

We used to take Lauren (my first child) to the paediatrician whose clinic was located in the hospital where Lauren was born. She attended to Lauren as soon as she was born, so when they told us we need to return to her for her monthly check-up, obliged. She is a good doctor and a popular one too. Each visit took at least 2 hours of wait time (with an appointment, no kidding!) and less than 5 minutes of consultation. And it would cost us a couple of hundreds per visit – consultation alone was $100+.

After a few visits, I decided enough is enough, surely there are better options than wasting time and paying arms and legs for simple check-ups and vaccination. I was searching for alternative paediatricians when I stumbled upon a forum recommending the polyclinic route. I researched a bit more, called SingHealth to make an appointment and you can say, the rest is history.

All my children are vaccinated at the polyclinic.

I discovered on my first visit that not only there’s virtually no wait (if you have an appointment), the compulsory vaccines are FREE for Singapore citizens. You get subsidised rates as a Permanent Resident and even for a visitor (I think the term is non-resident?), the rates are much cheaper compared to those at a paediatrician.

 

What to expect at the Polyclinic

Upon arrival, there’s usually a service staff standing by the entrance near these service kiosks.

If it is your first visit, bring along baby’s birth certificate and health booklet. The service staff will issue you with a priority number for registration because well, you have a baby! Baby gets priority here. After registration, you will be issued with an appointment card and the vaccination room number.

If you have an appointment, the kiosk will issue you with a number and you can go straight to the vaccination room. Head to the vaccination room and wait for your number to be called. The longest I’ve waited was 10 minutes. Most of the time, you get called within 3 minutes.

The nurse will perform the Growth Monitoring and Developmental Progress Check by taking your baby’s height, weight, head circumference and tick off the developmental questions in the health booklet. If you have any concerns or questions regarding baby’s development, you can also ask her. If your baby is healthy, the nurse will proceed with the vaccination. If you have any concern, you could also opt to have a doctor check-up before the vaccination.

Oh.. before the injection is given, the nurse will give you a bottle of Paracetamol (for vaccines that may cause fever), let you see and double check on the vaccine name on the box, insert current vaccination into the central record and confirm the next vaccination appointment. So you and baby can leave the room immediately after the injection is given. Interestingly enough, most babies stop crying as soon as you step out of the room. A change in environment helps, I suppose.

Next, proceed to the payment counter or self-service kiosk to pay your bill. If you are running short of time (which I always am!), go straight home. The bill will be mailed to your home address and you can make payment online using credit cards. It takes us about 40 minutes each time at the polyclinic.

The subsequent vaccinations at polyclinics are strictly by appointment only. Call 63553000 or log online to schedule/change an appointment.

 

How much does it cost?

Here’s one of Georgia’s bill. She had a 5-in-1 (1st dose) and the non-subsidised Prenevar shot for Pneumococcal. She also had a complimentary growth development consultation (free at 3 months, 18 months and 4 years old) with a doctor and given a Paracetamol syrup, in the case of fever. And what was my final out of pocket bill? 70 cents. CENTS!

I paid nothing for the 5-in-1 vaccine because all recommended immunisations under the National Childhood Immunisation Programme (NCIP) are FREE, all thanks to government subsidy.

Recommended vaccinations that are
fully-subsidised
 (for Singapore citizens)
Recommended vaccinations that are
non-subsidised
Tuberculosis* Pneumoccocal
Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis,
Haemophilus Influenzae Type b, Poliomyelitis
Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
Hepatitis B

You can read more on this website.

The non-subsidised vaccination like Pneumococcal can be paid using parent’s Medisave or using your child’s Baby Bonus cash gift or savings in the CDA.

So 70 cents is for the Paracetamol syrup + gst. Where else can you get 70 cents medication?

Also, recommended is a nicer term for compulsory in this case. Basically, these vaccinations are compulsory in Singapore (i.e. your kid needs to have all these done before Primary School enrollment). A vaccination certificate will be issued after your child has completed his or her schedule of childhood immunisations. The Certificate of Vaccination is one of the documents required for Primary One school registration. Ministry of Health also accepts documentary evidence of immunisation downloaded from the National Immunisation Registry’s (NIR) website.

For permanent residents’ and non-residents’ sake, I’ve included this cost table taken from NHGP’s website and this is correct as of 29 April 2017.

Vaccination

 

Price Per Dose Before GST (SGD) Medisave Payable

 

 Singapore Citizen  Permanent Resident  Non-Resident
 5-in-1 (Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis + Inactivated Polio Vaccine + Haemophilus Influenza type B)  Free  $52.50  $105.00  Yes
 6-in-1 (Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis + Inactivated Polio Vaccine + Haemophilus Influenza type B + Hep B)  $120.00  Yes
 Hepatitis A Junior (Single)  $66.00  No
 Hepatitis B ( Free $20.00$40.00Yes
 Influenza

(2 doses for children from 6 months to < 9 years of age who have not previously been vaccinated)

$26.50  No
 Measles, Mumps, Rubella (Child)  Free  $20.00  $40.00  Yes
 Pneumococcal 13-Valent (Child) $150.00 Yes (< 6 years)
 Rotavirus  $95.00  No
 Varicella (Chickenpox) $72.00 No

You could also bring your child to polyclinics for regular illness consultation by the doctor, hearing test, visual acuity and jaundice tests.

I go to Outram polyclinic which has 2 very spacious nursing and baby change rooms, and they are always available. Not sure about other polyclinics though.

Where do you go for your child’s vaccination? At a polyclinic or at the paediatrician? Do you know of a good paediatrician? Do share your experience in the comment box below!

HELLO! I’M MICHELLE.



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