Don't Wait Till It's Too Late, Here Are Some Affordable Health Screening Options For Women!
 
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Don't Wait Till It's Too Late, Here Are Some Affordable Health Screening Options For Women!

Jacqueline Yan
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As much as we can insure ourselves to tide us through periods of unemployment and bad health, we can’t buy our way to health.

That’s why it’s always about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, complemented with prevention and early detection!

man holding bags of fruits in front of open fridge, gotta stay healthy
Source: giphy

Even if you lead a really healthy lifestyle, some conditions are hereditary and can be picked up early through routine screening.

It’s also human nature to have the “I’m not that unlucky” mindset, which might delay your decisions to go for health screening.

I mean, we all don’t want to be ill.

But all it takes is a few hours for peace of mind.

In some cases, it’s a few hours in exchange for early treatment.


TL;DR – Affordable Health Screening Options For Women

affordable health screening for women

There are many clinics offering health screening services for women, but some of them can be quite costly or are offered as packages.

On top of your basic health screenings and tests, there are a few additional screenings that you should go for as a woman:

  • Pap Smear
  • HPV Test
  • Mammogram

The Singapore Cancer Society Clinic offers the above screening services for free for Singaporeans, provided that you’ve met their eligibility conditions.

As part of the Screen for Life programme by the Health Promotion Board (HPB), selected CHAS clinics and polyclinics offer these screening services at highly-subsidised rates to encourage Singaporeans to go for regular screenings.


What Are Some Recommended Health Screenings For Women?

girl playing doctor with dog
Source: giphy

There are some standard tests that are recommended at different stages, regardless of your gender and those tests should be included in most, if not all, basic health screening packages.

affordable health screening singapore costs

Regular screenings are recommended for the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Blood Cholesterol
  • Colorectal Cancer (a.k.a colon cancer)

However, as women, we are also at risk for cervical cancer and breast cancer. Similarly, routine screening for these conditions can also help in early detection and successful treatment.


Papanicolaou Test, a.k.a. Pap Smear – Cervical Cancer

illustration of microscope

Do I Need To Go For A Pap Smear?

More commonly known as the Pap Smear, this test takes a sample of cells from your cervix to detect any cell changes in the cervix, which is a potential sign of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer was ranked the 10th most common cancer among women, based on a report by Singapore Cancer Registry done in 2015.

Women who are aged 25 – 29 years old and are sexually active are recommended to take the Pap Smear.

Those of you who are vaccinated against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is one of the main causes of cervical cancer, don’t think you can skip this!

There are other subtypes of HPV that your vaccination does not protect you against, so you are still recommended to have your Pap smears even though you are vaccinated against the HPV.

How Often Do I Have To Go For A Pap Smear?

As early detection is key, you are encouraged to go for a Pap Smear once every 3 years.

What Are The Affordable Options?

A regular Pap smear test will typically cost you around $50 – $100 per test.

ClinicEligibility ConditionsCost
Singapore Cancer Society
Clinic @ Bishan
25 - 29 year old,
sexually active female
Singapore Citizens$0
Permanent Residents
Selected CHAS Clinics25 years old
& above
Pioneer Generation$0
Merdeka Generation
(from 1 Nov 2019)
$2
Blue & Orange Health Assist (CHAS)
Card Holders
$2
Singapore Citizens$5
Permanent Residents$18
(excl. GST)
All PolyclinicsSingapore Citizens$15
Permanent Residents$22.50
(excl. GST)

Besides, if you have previously purchased insurance plans designed specifically for women and are eligible for a complimentary health checkup every 2 years, which includes a Pap smear.

You’ll need to make an appointment regardless of which clinic you visit, just remember that you should not schedule your Pap Smear during your menstrual period.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Test – Cervical Cancer

illustration of DNA

Do I Need To Take A HPV Test?

Similarly, the HPV test collects a sample of cells from your cervix to test for the presence of the DNA of high-risk cancer-causing HPV strains.

In 2019, the Ministry of Health has recommended the HPV test as the new primary screening for cervical cancer for women who are 30 years and above. 

Likewise, even if you have previously taken your HPV vaccination, you are also encouraged to take the HPV test as the vaccination does not protect against all subtypes.

How Often Do I Have To Go For A HPV Test?

For the HPV test, you are encouraged to take it once every 5 years.

What Are The Affordable Options?

ClinicEligibility ConditionsCost
Singapore Cancer Society
Clinic @ Bishan
30 year old & aboveSingapore Citizens$0
Permanent Residents
Selected CHAS Clinics25 years old & abovePioneer Generation$0
Merderka Generation
(from 1 Nov 2019)
$2
Blue & Orange Health Assist
(CHAS) Card Holders
$2
Singapore Citizens$5
Permanent Residents$73
All PolyclinicsSingapore Citizens$22.50
Permanent Residents$33.75

As the recommendation was only pushed out in 2019, it seems that the insurance companies have yet to include the HPV test in their complimentary health screening.

As your HPV test is done in a similar fashion as a Pap smear, do remember to make an appointment and avoid your menstrual period.

Mammogram – Breast Cancer

illustration of mammogram

Do I Need To Go For A Mammogram?

A mammogram is the primary screening tool for breast cancer for women who are not displaying any symptoms, using low-dose x-rays to examine the breasts.

Women who are 40 years old and above are advised to go for mammogram screenings for early detection.

How Often Do I Have To Go For A Mammogram?

Even though it is advisable for women from age 40 – 49 to go for a mammogram once a year, there are limitations to the tool, hence, you should consult your doctor and see if it is suitable for you.

Otherwise, women aged 50 years and above are recommended to go for a mammogram once every 2 years.

If any of your immediate family members have breast cancer and you are 30 to 39 years old, you should also consult a doctor for advice before proceeding with any screening.

What Are The Affordable Options?

A mammogram will typically cost you upwards of $100, but there are many clinics offering subsidised rates for Singaporeans.

ClinicEligibility ConditionsCost
Singapore Cancer Society
Clinic @ Bishan
50 years old & aboveBlue & Orange
Health Assist (CHAS)
Card Holders
$0
Selected Clinics
& Polyclinics
(excl. Marine Parade &
Sengkang Polyclinic)
40 years old & abovePioneer Generation$0
(after SCS $25
Funding assistance

until 30 Nov 2019)
Singapore Citizens$25
(after SCS $25
Funding assistance

until 30 Nov 2019)
Permanent Residents$50
(after SCS $25
Funding assistance

until 30 Nov 2019)
Community Mammobus
Programme

(until February 2020)
First-time screenerSingapore Citizens$0
Permanent Residents$25
Repeat screenerSingapore Citizens$10
Permanent Residents$35

Depending on the tier of insurance plan you purchased, some companies offer mammograms as part of your complimentary health screening.

Don’t worry, your mammogram screenings can also be covered by your MediSave at approved clinics.


It’s common that we forget to take care of ourselves, especially if you have a family to look after or a very busy lifestyle.

But it doesn’t take too much time to go online or make a call to schedule an appointment for the screenings that apply to you.

Set a reminder if you’re worried that you won’t remember since these screenings are done so far apart.

Taking care of yourself is also taking care of your loved ones too. 

Ask questions on health insurance here!

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About Jacqueline Yan
Full-time coffee nerd playing the personal finance game to feed her insatiable wanderlust.
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