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Living in Singapore with T1D

Discussion in 'Jobs and Employment' started by Jemzor, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. Jemzor

    Jemzor Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I am considering a permanent relocation from the UK to Singapore and am trying to find out a little more about what living with diabetes there will mean.

    I am aware that all medication and consultations have to be paid for personally as medical cover for local companies are generally quite poor and expat packages have become more and more rare. I was wondering whether anyone here has lived/lives in Singapore and can tell me about their experience with diabetes.

    I am currently on an insulin pump but from I gather this is not something that is widely used there, so will probably mean reverting back to MDI.

    Thank you!
     
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  2. wildfirejc

    wildfirejc Type 2 · Member

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    I am from Singapore and in my family my brother has insulin injections - so there is no cause for worry abt there being no support in Singapore. It isn't a third world country.
    However, most of the hawker food in Singapore are full of sugar - so beware.
    My diabetes happened after spending two months there in 2016. Prior to that, I wasn't a diabetic.
    Then as a result of drinking gallons of fresh lime juice while there, being thirsty all the time cos of the heat, I think my kidneys just folded up...
    I was fortunate to return to UK when I did - and insisted that the doctor tested me for diabetes cos I had all the classic symptoms. 107 mmol/mol....but after the pills and sugar control, it is now 41 mmol/mol.
     
  3. Jessitalia

    Jessitalia Type 1 · Active Member

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    Hi @Jemzor, my husband has been offered a job in Singapore and I can’t find any positive information on moving there, in terms of T1 care!
    Did you move? Did you get health insurance? How much does it cost? Thanks a lot.
     
  4. KookieMunchster

    KookieMunchster Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Just FYI although I can’t comment as such on T1 in Sg. I do know that there is currently a govt. initiated Diabetes awareness campaign being rolled out there. In general I have found meds to be expensive. Eg. if you wear dentures and you need stuff like steradent bring your own! Last time I was there just buying similar products like polygrip set me back £25. There are levels of care that differ in SG - private health care is world class and the public health system isn’t too shabby but is only subsidised for Singaporeans and those with PR.
     
  5. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    Is your husband being offered a job on an expat package (which would usually include some form of medical insurance for accompanying family) or a local package which I'm guessing wouldn't. I worked in Singapore in the mid-90's but had the full ex-pat deal so everything was covered. You'd need to check that any medical insurance cover included pre-existing conditions.
     
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  6. Jemzor

    Jemzor Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @Jessitalia I eventually ended up staying in the UK. I did spend time at a pharmacy in Singapore and they were showing me the medication they had available on prescription. Novopen, insulin, glucometers etc but I could not get any info on insulin pumps, which for me is crucial having been on it for the last 4 years.

    Either way, privately funding a pump wasn’t going to be sustainable. Our NHS is irreplaceable.
     
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  7. Jessitalia

    Jessitalia Type 1 · Active Member

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    Thanks. On another forum a type 1 expat told me that basically it’s likely I’ll have to pay for my medication BUT care etc is free. Not great but we’ve worked out it’ll be around £3000 to keep in libres and insulin, so might not be too bad. Expat package being discussed at the moment but I’m guessing his HR team won’t comprehend the difference between T1 and T2- and from what I can tell policies happily cover T2 but not T1- so they may tell some misinformed porkies. Fingers crossed though.
     
  8. Jessitalia

    Jessitalia Type 1 · Active Member

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    I get really angry and how illness disables and possibly bankrupts people when it doesn’t have to be that way. Although- this is controversial- the Italian NHS is better than my U.K. (Scottish) experience! But nationalised publicly funded health services for all, yes!
     
  9. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    I'll tag in @kokhongw who I think may live in Singapore so might be able to give a more localised view..
    Please forgive me if I am wrong.
     
  10. kokhongw

    kokhongw I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Healthcare is subsidized only for citizens and permanent residence. That means we still co-pay 10-50%. Expats and visitors would need to rely on private insurance.

    Glucose test strips are generally very expensive here. S$1/strip and these consumables are not funded.

    Have no visibility on insulin pumps as I don't use them. But insulin pens which my sister uses eg Novomix 30 is around S$20/pen/100units.
     
  11. fern000

    fern000 Type 1 · Member

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    I've T1 and am living in SG. Pumps aren't common here, although I just switched from MDI to a medtronic pump. Cost was about 4000sgd and monthly pump supplies add up to about 150-200sgd, excluding the cost for insulin. Costly for sure.
     
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  12. NewT1D

    NewT1D · Newbie

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    @fern000 Thank you for sharing. Do you happen to know the availability of Continuous Glucose Monitors in Singapore? I found some information on the Dexcom website and if I understand it right there aren't any options to procure them at Singapore. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Are there any other CGMs available at Singapore?
     
  13. fern000

    fern000 Type 1 · Member

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    To my knowledge, dexcom isn't available in sg. There is however the freestyle libre but still quite costly. You can find it at retail pharmacies like Guardian and Watsons :)
     
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  14. NewT1D

    NewT1D · Newbie

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    @fern000 Thank you :) Also, are there any insurance policies that cover Medtronic pumps and Insulin? If I may ask, were you covered by insurance when you switched to Medtronic ? I went through CXA, AIA and I seem to hit a dead end since they do not cover.
     
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