How Much Does MRI Cost in Singapore 2024 – Ways It Can Be More Affordable (Using MediSave)

How Much Does MRI Cost in Singapore 2022 - Ways It Can Be More Affordable (Using MediSave)

An MRI is a common medical tool used in Singapore. It is an extremely safe and useful tool that helps doctors understand and diagnose conditions better.

If you frequent the doctor, your doctor may have at some point recommended you to get an MRI scan. However, due to the high MRI cost Singapore, it might not be a procedure that everyone has access to.

This article will cover how much does MRI cost in Singapore, the subsidies available, and whether it’s possible to opt for a CT scan over an MRI scan instead.

What Is An MRI Scan, And What Is It Used For?

An MRI, short for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is a type of scan that uses magnetic fields and radiofrequency pulses to produce detailed images of our organs and body.

It is often used to look at your:

  • Brain and surrounding nerve tissue
  • Breast tissue
  • Chest and abdomen organs e.g. heart, liver, kidney, pancreas
  • Spinal cord
  • Pelvic organs
  • Blood vessels
  • Lymph nodes

An MRI is especially useful for investigating back pain; it is the gold standard for helping doctors design the best course of treatment for spine disorders and the best imaging modality for pinpointing the root of the problem.

An MRI is also very safe as it does not involve the use of radiation.

How Is An MRI Done?

  • You will lie on a bed that’s moved into a scanner.
  • The test is performed by a radiographer; you will be able to talk to the radiographer through an intercom.
  • There might be some noise but most MRI centres provide earplugs to help muffle the noise during the scanning process.
  • Before undergoing the scan, you should remove all jewellery and eyewear, and inform your practitioner if you have metal implants.

Note: Depending on your condition and purpose of the MRI scan, contrasts/dyes are sometimes required. When appropriately used, these colours and contrasts pose no health risks.

What Is The Difference Between a CT Scan And MRI?

Although many people may believe CT scans and MRIs are identical, they are pretty distinct. A CT scan is an imaging procedure that takes cross-sectional pictures of the body using computers and rotating X-ray devices.

Compared to regular X-ray pictures, CT scans are a lot more detailed. They help reveal structures like muscles, arteries, and bones.

A CT scan is usually ordered for the following purposes:

  • Investigate the interior organs and blood arteries
  • Identify health problems such as infections, muscle pain, and broken bones
  • Check for internal bleeding and internal injuries
  • Localise abnormalities, such as cancerous tumours, in the body
  • Watch how well medications are working to treat diseases like cancer and heart problems
  • To lead medical procedures like operations and biopsies

Some of the common differences between CT scans and MRIs include the following:

CostFrom $300From $1,200
FocusConditions like fractured bones and sick tissueUsed to diagnose various medical disorders, including the evaluation of soft tissues like ligaments and tendons, spinal cord injuries, and brain malignancies
Time TakenFive minutes or lessAt least 30 minutes
Risks InvolvedAllergic reaction to the dyes used in the procedure, injury to an unborn child, and exposure to a very low dosage of radiation.Claustrophobia during extended scans, heat stroke, metal allergy, and hearing loss from the scanner's volume.

How Much Does MRI Cost In Singapore?

The MRI scan cost Singapore can be anywhere from $800 to $2,000, depending on the body region and complexity of your condition.

Usually, private clinics tend to charge more. With that said, the cost shouldn’t stop you from getting one, as an MRI can detect issues a CT scan or regular X-ray cannot.

With an MRI:

  • Radiation exposure is kept to a minimum.
  • MRI’s detail helps diagnose and evaluate tumours early
  • It can assess organ function and anatomy
  • It can reveal bone-hidden problems.
  • MRI contrast material is less prone to cause allergies than iodine-based traditional investigation materials.
  • It offers a rapid, non-invasive knee and spine diagnosis alternative to x-ray imaging.
  • An image of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), Meniscus, ligament, and lumbar discs is sharper and more detailed than other imaging modalities.

If you require an MRI regularly due to certain health conditions, there are screening packages available that include this sophisticated scan.

For example, Raffles Hospital has a $10,000 “Platinum” package that includes an MRI of the brain. Patients under Parkway Hospital can also add on tests such as MRI or CT scans as part of their extensive health screening packages.

Is MRI Subsidised In Singapore?

The following situations qualify for MediSave coverage of MRI costs in Singapore.

Cancer Screening

As part of your cancer treatment, you may be eligible to use up to $600 annually from your MediSave account to cover diagnostic imaging performed outside of a hospital, such as a CT scan cost in Singapore, an MRI, or an ultrasound.

Diagnosis/Treatment Scans

You can use your MediSave account to pay for up to $300 in annual medical expenses, whether for prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a medical condition.

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Preventative Medical Procedures

These are the likes of colonoscopy and mammogram. Mammography is a must if you want to catch breast diseases early. Women over the age of 50 should have a mammogram every three years. Every year, you can withdraw up to $500 from your MediSave account for this.

Is MRI Covered By Insurance In Singapore?

MRIs of the back are typically covered by health insurance. Many Singaporeans have integrated shield policies they paid for out of their MediSave that cover the cost of an MRI.

If you don’t have insurance, you can also use Medisave to assist cover the cost of MRI exams. You may be eligible to receive up to $300 or $600 in Medisave funding for MRIs, depending on your circumstances.

Does Polyclinic Do MRI?

Polyclinics do not conduct MRIs, but you can visit a polyclinic for a referral to a restructured hospital.

With a referral letter, part of your bill can be paid with MediSave, with the remaining out of your own pocket. Depending on your company or personal insurance policy, you may further claim a portion of the remaining cost.

Now, with that said, some companies offer very generous insurance policies – if you belong to one of those, it might be more time-efficient to visit a private clinic/hospital directly, since waiting times at public institutions are considerably shorter.

What To Do When You Don’t Have Enough Money For An MRI

To sum, here are some ways you can reduce the Singapore MRI cost:

  • Get a referral from a polyclinic
  • When signing up for insurance coverage, consider if the plan covers MRIs
  • Always ask if you can pay with MediSave

If neither insurance nor Medisave is available, consider getting a personal loan with us at Money Kinetics. Here, you can obtain a loan with flexible repayment terms, so you do not need to delay your MRI due to a lack of finances.

Apply now – we approve as quickly as 24 hours.