A Quick Guide to Cataract Surgery Costs in Singapore

Young woman with beautiful eyes

It is unavoidable for us to develop cataracts when we reach a certain age. Cataracts usually start to show up when we get to our 50s. Studies have shown that from people aged 80 and above, at least 60% of them will have developed cataracts.

In this short guide, I’ve prepared a breakdown of cataract surgery costs in Singapore and the many possible factors that affect its price.

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye which causes vision loss. When it comes to treating cataracts, there are some claims that medication or eye drops can cure or reverse cataract formation. However, these claims have no scientific basis as until now, none of these so-called treatments have effectively removed a cataract. Thus, the only scientifically backed and effective treatment available for cataracts is surgery.

Doctor performing cataract eye surgery in modern clinic

In general, the costs of medical tests and treatments depend largely on the type of hospital or clinic that offers the services. In Singapore, you have three cost levels– a public hospital with subsidies (PHS), a public hospital with no subsidies (PH) and a private hospital (PrH) in ascending order of cost. In this article, the prices detailed here will be given as a range of value for each cost level to give you a general idea as well as help you decide on which type of hospital to choose.

Costs involved in diagnosing cataracts

To effectively be diagnosed of having cataracts, you will have to undergo an eye examination and consultation with an ophthalmologist. There are three eye examinations for cataracts to choose from (tonometry, biometry and optic nerve test), however not all clinics or specialists offer all of them. When it comes to the total costs for cataract diagnosis, you will have to factor in the doctor’s fees and the specific type of eye tests you need to undergo.

Breakdown of Cataract Diagnosis Costs

Ophthalmologist Consultation (Doctor’s fees): $35 - $60 (PHS), $90 - $300 (PH), $90 - $300 (PrH)

Eye Tests

Tonometry: $10 - $40 (PHS), $30 - $60 (PH), $40 - $60 (PrH)

Biometry: $25 - $50 (PHS), $100 - $140 (PH), $100 - $250 (PrH)

OCT (optic nerve test): $30 - $50 (PHS), $70 - $100 (PH), $100 - $300 (PrH)

If you compare the costs of a public hospital or places like SNEC (Singapore National Eye Center) with no subsidies and a private one, there is little difference. Thus, if you can’t afford to spend a lot then as much as possible you should find a public hospital that offers these services subsidized. However, if money is not an issue then it all depends on your preference between a public or private hospital.

Costs involved in Cataract Surgery

If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, then you should now consider treatment. Unfortunately, the only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery and can get a bit costly. There are a couple of factors however that influences the total costs of the surgery, namely:

  • surgeon fees
  • facility and equipment fees – cover the use of the operating theatre, nurses, equipment and disposables needed
  • anaesthetist fees
  • lens implant price – depends on the type of lens as well

Cataract Surgery Costs

Eyeglasses over singaporean banknote
  • Public hospital with subsidies: $700 - $1300 per eye
  • Public hospital without subsidies: $3800 - $6400 per eye
  • Private hospital: $4200 - $8000 per eye

Take note that if you have medical insurance or Medisave (applicable only to PRs and Singaporeans), cataract surgery will be covered by almost all private health insurance policies. It may even be able to fully cover the total costs of surgery in a private clinic. The Ministry of Health (Singapore) has also compiled this helpful table for potential patients. With Medisave, Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PR) can claim up to $2150 off the total costs of cataract surgery.

Other Factors that Affect Cataract Surgery Costs

The following factors also influence the total cost of cataract surgery in Singapore:

  • Type of Cataract – There are many types of cataracts, and some types may cost more to treat compared to others. Some types of cataracts include:
    • secondary cataracts
    • congenital cataracts
    • traumatic cataracts
    • endocapsular rings
    • aniridia
  • Number of Eyes to Undergo Surgery – The costs of cataract surgery done on both of your eyes is usually cheaper compared to two cataract surgeries on a single eye. This is because some consumables as well as facility fees are paid in full regardless of whether you have surgery done on one eye or both.
  • Post-operative medication and services – After the surgery, your doctor may recommend you take some medications or to undergo therapy and services. These things should also be considered when dealing with the total costs of cataract surgery.

If you are considering getting cataract surgery or if you know someone who needs it, don’t hesitate to set an appointment with us at Asia Retina by contacting us through phone (+65 6732 0007 or +65 9118 0007) or email (drpang@asiaretina.com).

Asia Retina – Eye Specialist in Singapore
#15-10 The Paragon, 290 Orchard Rd,
Singapore 238859
+65 6732 0007

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