How To Choose a Gynae in Singapore - A 2021 Guide

Congratulations! There are many existing guides and textbooks on this. In order that you do not get cluttered and overwhelmed with your research, we have sifted through the internet and have summarised the information out there into important practical tips.
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In order to find the best gynecologist for yourself or your loved ones, you will need to analyse basically your personal factors and external factors in order to come to an actionable decision. You can use a spreadsheet if you need to, in order to declutter the information that you have.

Personal factors would include (but not limited) to the following:

1. Preference for a female gynecologist

Nothing wrong with choosing a female gynecologist if that's your personal preference. There are many good female gynaecologists in Singapore.

Related: List of Female Gynecologists in Singapore.

2. Your Budget

If you have limited budget, you might prefer to choose the public hospitals instead. However, some private hospitals do have 4-bedded rooms that are relatively more affordable, if you choose to accept a 4 bedded room.

You should also check with your insurance provider if they cover only certain doctors and hospitals.

3. Distance to your house or office

Gynae appointments are quite regular. In first trimester, it's roughly every month. When closer to due date, it's almost every 2 weeks. If you have shortlisted a few options and they are all equally suitable, you might choose the one who is nearest to your house or office. Convenience matters. It will save you time and unnecessary stress.

Then, the external factors would include:

4. Online research

Before you get yourself overwhelmed with all the jargons on the internet, it's important you have some basic understanding with the medical specialty that you are dealing with.

O&G stands for Obstetrics and Gynaecology. What's the difference between obstetricians and gynaecologists? Most gynaes are qualified with a post-graduate qualification in O&G i.e. MRCOG or Master of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Therefore, they are trained both in obstetrics as well as gynaecology. An obstetrician specialises in pregnancy related aspects of women's health whereas a gynae specialised in the 'non-pregnancy' related aspects.

Next, you may also need to understand that there are 4 primary subspecialties in ob/gyn:
1) maternal fetal medicine (obstetrics)
2) reproductive endocrinology and infertility (IVF etc.)
3) female pelvic and reconstructive surgery (uro-gynae)
4) gynaecologic oncology (gynae-oncologist)

Now that you have a better picture on who you will be dealing with, it's easier for you to make an appointment with the right specialist or subspecialist.

There are also others who have traveled this path ahead of you and they could be your sources of wisdom and support. There are also many self-proclaimed experts on social media dishing out advice and recommendations. However, 'too many cooks spoil the broth'. You and your situation are unique.

Once you have compiled your list of options, your next step would be to check out the reviews on Google and local parenting forums such as SingaporeMotherhood and Kiasu parents; and also gynaecologist Singapore review.

5. Patient – Doctor relationship.

A good doctor will engage in a dialogue and listen instead of talking continuously without any eye-contact or just staring at his or her desktop or mobile phone. Expect your doctor to listen well, take your questions and concerns seriously and explain his or her advice and actions. If you are not comfortable with your doctor for whatever the reason, then he or she may not be the right doctor for you. 

If your baby is having a 'fetal distress' meaning a sign your baby isn't coping with labour. It might mean they need a caesarean or a C-section to speed up the birth.

Fetal distress is an emergency in which a baby experiences lack of oxygen. Your gynae must immediately address and manage fetal distress to avoid serious complications, such as  brain injury, cerebral palsy (spastic baby) and even stillbirth.

Obstetrics is not rocket science. Choose a gynae who has time for you. A very busy gynae does not necessarily mean that she/he is the best gynae for you.

6. Your appointment

Once you have shortlisted your options, it's time to call and make your appointment. If your gynae has a very tight schedule and is busy with too many patients, it might be wise to open up your options.

At your appointment, make sure you and your doctor share the same values. If you're going to the gynecologist seeking normal delivery and, upon discussing it at the appointment, discover that your doctor does not believe in normal delivery, it's time to look for a second option.

If you are looking for an affordable gynecologist in Singapore, you may wish to short-list those from the public hospitals i.e. SGH, NUH and KKH.

7. High risk pregnancy

Discuss with your gynae on your options if you are in the high risk category. The situation is more complicated as there are more considerations in high risk pregnancy. It's not just the gynae but the supporting team is important i.e. nurses, neonatalogists, equipments etc. 

Some gynaes have more experience in managing high risk pregnancies. In the private sector, most gynaes might claim that they can manage almost every possible complication, although maternal fetal medicine is not their sub-specialty. You can check their training background on their website.

You can also find out a doctor’s number of years of practise by simply popping in his/her name in this SMC directory.

“I switched to KKH because I felt it offered the most specialised facilities and resources for complicated pregnancies in singapore.” – Winnie Puah, 32-year-old real estate sales director with triplets.

8. Gynae's expertise and experience

Some gynaes prefer caesarian section (c-section) as they can control the delivery time. As for normal vaginal delivery, the timing is often unpredictable and might happen during the odd hours of the day. Some gynaes will be upfront and will inform you that they don't do normal vaginal delivery. You just need to find another option.

“I switched gynaes because one was more supportive of natural birth than the other. My new doctor was comfortable about taking a step back, and allowed me to give birth at my own pace as long as we were both safe.”Nicole Tan, 27 year-old who delivered via water birth.

9. Choosing which hospital to deliver

Gynae first or hospital first? The primary person who will be managing your pregnancy is your gynae. Although hospital is one of the considerations, most hospitals in Singapore are well equipped and have well trained supporting staff. If you have a high risk pregnancy, it's better not to place too much emphasis on your preferred hospital. If your gynae were to recommend you to give birth in KKH or NUH, you should listen to your gynae's advice.

Dr Tony Tan says that “Expecting mums can expect shorter waiting time at Raffles Hospital because its consultation clinics, diagnostic rooms and delivery wards are all located at the same building. They also have the option to head down to 1 of the 5 satellite clinics at a more convenient location.”

Genevieve Goh, was determined to deliver at Mount Alvernia Hospital because she is Catholic and liked the environment. “So, when I had to choose a gynae, I naturally looked at the clinics located at that particular hospital”.

10. Maternity Packages in Singapore

You might wish to check out maternity packages in Singapore (vaginal delivery and caesarean section) for comparison on the maternity packages for both the public and private hospitals in Singapore.

Please take note that the term 'maternity package' is not a simple fixed price item that you are used to in your day to day shopping at supermarkets. That's the reason some hospitals do not offer that as every delivery is unique and different. Most maternity packages will list down cost items that are included and more importantly, cost items that are not included. These might include consultant fee and hospital cost that are beyond the designated period (e.g. 3 days / 2 nights package) and also unexpected complications to the mother or baby. So, do not be surprised that your final bill will be much higher than the 'maternity package'.

If you are looking for the cheapest or most affordable maternity package in Singapore, NUH Hospital Ward C would be your choice. If you would prefer a private hospital instead, Parkway East Hospital in a 4 bedded room would be the most affordable choice for normal delivery and Thomson Medical Centre in a 4 bedded room for Caesarean section.

An analysis done by The Astute Parent, revealed that Caesarean section ratio is the highest in TMC (Thomson) and MAH (Mount Alvernia).

How much does gynae cost in Singapore? - Frequently Asked Question

If you are making an appointment with a private gynaecologist in Singapore, expect to pay about $150 to $250 per visit for consultation, excluding the additional cost of buying supplements. If you include supplements or medication, the first two visits may cost you about $500 to $700.

If you are referring to pregnancy related cost, please refer to the section above (maternity packages). For other gynae related procedures, you can find the pricing information by entering the search keyword at 'fee benchmarks and bill amount information from the Singapore Ministry of Health'. 


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