Singapore

Singapore
Singapore is home to make unique buildsings.

There are a number of modern attractions to be observed in Singapore, including Universal Studios Singapore, Underwater World and Singapore Flyer. Elsewhere, the majestic Night Safari and Sentosa island are extremely popular with tourists.

Visiting Singapore

Around 450,000 British tourists visit Singapore every year, which can only be viably accessed from the United Kingdom by airplane.

Flight times from London to Singapore can vary, with the minimum travel time around 13 hours. Longer flights, depending on your airline, can require an increased time of between 15-20 hours.

Time zone

Singapore is seven hours ahead of British Summer Time and eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, which may require alterations to your diabetes management.

If you are uncertain about managing your diabetes in Singapore, you should discuss this with your diabetes team prior to departing.

Climate

Singapore is an incredibly warm country, with average temperatures throughout the year standing at roughly 26°C.

Regardless of what time of year visiting, travellers that take insulin should vigilantly monitor their blood sugar levels as insulin can be absorbed faster in warmer temperatures.

If you are concerned about hypoglycemia, you could consider reducing your dosages, especially before periods of physical activity.

Currency

The currency in Singapore is the Singapore Dollar, while most major credit and debit cards are accepted in all establishments. It is worth noting that a seven per cent Goods and Services Tax is imposed on all purchases, while tipping is not practised in Singapore. This is because most hotels and restaurants already levy a 10% service charge on bills.

Vaccinations

There are no mandatory vaccinations to enter Singapore, however some are recommended. You should consult your doctor eight weeks prior to your departure in order to receive the vaccinations in time.

All travellers are recommended to get vaccinations for hepatitis A and typhoid, which can both be contracted through contaminated food or water.

Some travellers are also recommended to receive vaccinations for other diseases, including hepatitis B and rabies, which can be carried by dogs, bats and other mammals in Singapore.

There is no risk of yellow fever in Singapore, although the government of Singapore requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you have travelled from a country with a risk of the disease.

Otherwise, the opportunity should be taken to ensure existing vaccinations such as your yearly flu jab and those against polio and tetanus are also up to date.

Ensuring access to medication

UK citizens with diabetes will not be entitled to any free medication services while in Singapore. Securing comprehensive medical insurance will be essential in order to obtain even basic treatment.

Diabetic medication is available in Singapore, but payment will be required from all pharmacies. Blood and urine testing kits are available from most pharmacies.

The emergency services telephone number to be called in Singapore is 995.

It is advisable to contact the manufacturing company of your medication prior to leaving the UK to find out what is available in Singapore if your medication gets lost, stolen or damaged. It is also worth checking to see what different names your medication may be listed as.

Insulin

You should note which syringes are available in Singapore, with U-100, U-80 and U-40 syringes the most commonly used.

The vast majority of insulin in the UK is U-100 insulin. If you take, or are given any other strength of insulin (e.g. U-80 or U-40 insulin) whilst abroad, your current doses will not be applicable.

f you need to take a different strength of insulin, say in an emergency, it’s important that you use the correct device and syringes for that insulin.

For example, you would use a U-40 syringe for U-40 insulin. You will need to work with a doctor getting the right dose if you’re using a different form of insulin.

Diabetes associations

It is important to note the diabetes associations in the country you are travelling to in case of an emergency.

There are two diabetic associations in Singapore that can be contacted for information prior to your stay. The addresses of these associations are:

  • Association of Diabetes Educators (a member of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) since 2011),
    Blk 141 Bedok Reservoir Road,
    SG-01 -1529
    Singapore 470141
    Telephone: +65-90663805
    Email: adeseducation@gmail.com
    Website: www.ades.org.sg

  • Diabetic Society of Singapore (a member of IDF since 1976),
    141 Bedok Reservoir Road
    01-1529
    470141 Singapore,
    Singapore
    Telephone: +65-6842 3382
    Email: dss@diabetes.org.sg
    Website: www.diabetes.org.sg

Questions

  • How is blood glucose measured in Singapore? Blood glucose levels are measured in mg/dl
  • What language is spoken in Singapore? Singapore has four official languages – English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. Since 1987 English has been the official language in schools, colleges and most businesses.
  • Will I need an international driving license when driving in Singapore? Yes
  • If I want to hire a vehicle during my visit, will I face any form of discrimination? No
  • What sugar free drinks are available in Singapore? Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi and mineral water
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