The Ultimate Cost Guide to Schizophrenia Treatments in Singapore (2022)

Updated: Jan 12


Looking for the costs of schizophrenia treatments and medications in Singapore? Read this article to compare the costs of treatment.

In this article:

1. What is Schizophrenia

2. What are the types of schizophrenia treatments available?

3. What is the breakdown of costs of schizophrenia treatments?

4. What is the difference in costs of schizophrenia treatments between public and private institutions?

5. Are there subsidies available for schizophrenia treatments?

6. Can I use my Medisave for schizophrenia treatments?

7. What other factors should I consider apart from the costs?

8. Where can I seek help for schizophrenia?

9. Conclusion


What is Schizophrenia?


Schizophrenia is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in the world, including in Singapore. Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder that affects the way a person thinks, feels and behaves [1].


Symptoms of schizophrenia include hallucinations, delusions, reduced motivation or moodiness [2], which can severely decrease the quality of life in the patient’s life. People who suffer from schizophrenia require lifelong treatment to manage the condition and keep it under control.


Read more to find out about the types of schizophrenia treatments available and their costs.


What are the types of schizophrenia treatments available?

treatment options for schizophrenia in singapore

Psychosocial intervention can help individuals manage their schizophrenia and learn how to build relationships with others.


Common psychotherapy include:


Cognitive behavioural therapy

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps people identify and change the negative thought patterns that result in negative behaviours or emotions. CBT typically involves learning new skills, goal setting and problem solving. [3]


Family therapy

Family therapy is a type of therapy that helps family members improve communication amongst them and resolve conflicts. These sessions also help family members strengthen their bonds and encourage them to overcome stressful times together [4].


Here are some tips on how to manage your stress.


Behavioural skills training

Behavioural skills training focuses on teaching the patient how to improve on their communication skills and social interaction, allowing them to continue with their daily activities. [5]


Supported employment

This provides patients with vocational training and equips them with skills that enable them to seek employment.


Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Electroconvulsive therapy is an invasive procedure done under general anaesthesia whereby small electric currents are passed through the brain, triggering a small seizure. ECT is thought to change the brain’s chemistry, which results in the cessation of symptoms of certain mental health disorders. [6]


ECT is typically used in patients who do not respond to medications and is proven to be effective in improving symptoms of schizophrenia can be treated with pharmacologicals as well as therapy.


Pharmacotherapy

Medications that help to manage schizophrenia are thought to work by increasing the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is responsible for the feeling of happiness and pleasure, in our body [7].


Common medications that are prescribed for schizophrenia include:

  • First-generation antipsychotic medications e.g. chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin) and haloperidol (Haldol)

  • Second-generation antipsychotic medications e.g. aripiprazole (Abilify), asenapine (Saphris) and brexpiprazole (Rexulti)

  • Long-acting injectable antipsychotics e.g. aripiprazole (Abilify Maintena, Aristada), fluphenazine decanoate and haloperidol decanoate


What is the breakdown of costs of schizophrenia treatments?

Cost breakdown for schizophrenia treatments in singapore

The typical costs of schizophrenia ranges from $50 to more than $3,000 depending on the severity of your schizophrenia.

This is also dependent on a number of factors such as:

  • Consultation fees

  • Medication fees

  • Therapy fees

  • Electroconvulsive Therapy

  • Hospitalisation (if required)


What is the difference in costs of schizophrenia treatments between public and private institutions?

​Public

Private

Consultation

$20 - $50

$160 - $856

Medication

$30 - $100 per month

$30 - $100 per month

Therapy

Free - $182 per session

$180 - $200 per session

Electroconvulsive Therapy

Not indicated

Not indicated

Electroconvulsive Therapy

B2 ward: $79 - $83 daily C ward: $35 - $43 daily

4 bedded ward: $223 - $291 daily

Are there subsidies available for schizophrenia treatments?


CHAS subsidies

As schizophrenia is one of the chronic illnesses listed under the Chronic Diseases Management Programme (CDMP), there are subsidies available if you are a Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) cardholder. The amount of subsidies varies depending on the type of card you are holding.

CHAS Green

CHAS Orange

CHAS Blue

Merdeka Generation

Pioneer Generation

Household monthly income per person (for households with income)

> $2,000

$1,201 - $2,000

$1,200 and below

All Merdeka Generation card holders receive CHAS subsidies regardless of household income or annual value of home

All Pioneer Generation card holders receive CHAS subsidies regardless of household income or annual value of home

Annual value of home (for households with no income)

Above $21,000

$13,001 - $21,000

$13,000 and below

/

/

Simple Chronic Condition (one chronic condition only)

Up to $28 per visit, capped at $112 per year

Up to $50 per visit, capped at $200 per year

Up to $80 per visit, capped at $320 per year

Up to $85 per visit, capped at $340 per year

Up to $95 per visit, capped at $360 per year

Complex Chronic Condition (multiple chronic conditions or one condition with complications)

Up to $40 per visit, capped at $160 per year

Up to $80 per visit, capped at $320 per year

Up to $125 per visit, capped at $500 per year

Up to $130 per visit, capped at $520 per year

Up to $135 per visit, capped at $540 per year

Singapore citizens who are on public assistance will receive full subsidies for the treatment of schizophrenia. They will have to produce their public assistance card and their NRIC during the visit at CHAS clinics.


However, subsidies for schizophrenia are only claimable at certain CHAS clinics. You may call the CHAS hotline for more information at 1800-275-2427 (1800-ASK-CHAS).


Medishield Life

MediShield Life is a basic insurance plan that all Singaporean citizens and permanent residents are automatically enrolled in. Under this scheme, Singaporeans can claim $160 per day for inpatient psychiatric treatment, up to 60 days per policy year [8].


Medifund

For patients who still have difficulties paying their medical expenses after government subsidies, MediSave, MediShield Life and cash, additional assistance may be given from MediFund [9]. To be eligible, the patient must:

  • Be a Singaporean citizen

  • Be a subsidised patient

  • Have received or require treatment from a MediFund-approved institution

  • Be having difficulties paying for their healthcare bills after government subsidies and other means including MediSave, MediShield and cash.


Can I use my Medisave for schizophrenia treatments?

Yes, schizophrenia treatments are Medisave claimable under CDMP. Patients can withdraw up to $500 from their Medisave per year to help with their treatment costs. [10] Patients who are 60 years old and above may withdraw an additional $200 ($700 in total) from their Medisave to pay for their schizophrenia treatments.


If patients are required to be warded, they will be covered by Medishield Life. Patients can also utilise Medisave to pay for their hospitalisation. They can withdraw up to $150 per day for daily hospital charges which will be capped at $5,000 per year. [11]


What other factors should I consider apart from the costs?


Some factors that you may want to consider while choosing a therapist include [12]:

  • Location of the clinic: As therapy usually takes months or even years, it can be time-consuming and inconvenient to travel to clinics or therapists that are far from your house.

  • Experience of therapist: Therapists who have more experience in treating patients with the same condition as you can provide some reassurances that he or she can help you get better.

  • Credentials of therapist: Ensure your therapist has relevant certifications and licenses to offer therapy services.

  • Comfort with therapist: As you will need to open up about certain topics, it is important to be comfortable with your therapist and trust that your therapy sessions will be a safe space. Some factors that you can consider include your therapist’s gender, age and religion.

Where can I seek help for Schizophrenia?

You may seek help for schizophrenia treatments at hospitals, counselling centres as well as helplines.


Hospitals

Certain hospitals have an inpatient psychiatric ward which are equipped to treat an array of mental health disorders such as schizophrenia.

Hospital

Address/Contact number

Price

Singapore General Hospital

​20 College Road, Singapore 169856

Academia, Level 3

6321 4377


Ward B2: $633 - $2,449

Ward C: $692 - $2,780


Sengkang General Hospital

​110 Sengkang East Way, Singapore 544886

6930 5000


Ward C: $786 - $1,385

Institute of Mental Health

10 Buangkok View, Singapore 539747

6389 2000


Sayang Wellness Centre

B1 4 bedded ward: $250/day

2 bedded ward: $310/day

1 bedded ward: $440/day


General Ward

B2 ward: $61/day

C ward: $32/day


National University Hospital

​5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119074 6779 5555

Ward B2: $860 - $3,091

Ward C: $804 - $2,419


Tan Tock Seng Hospital

11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433

6256 6011


Ward A: $2,960 - $8,046

Ward B2: $2,829 - $9,129

Ward C: $672 - $1,703


​Changi General Hospital

​2 Simei Street 3, Singapore 529889

6788 8833


Ward B2: $1,088 - $4,120 Ward C: $934 - $2,864

Ng Teng Fong Hospital

1 Jurong East Street 21, Singapore 609606

6716 5000


Ward C: $711 - $1,906

Mount Elizabeth Hospital

​3 Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore 228510


2 bedded ward: $3,777 - $10,141


General Practitioner & CHAS

You may seek help at polyclinics or General Practitioner (GP) clinics. These clinics can refer you to government hospitals for specialised mental health treatments, at a subsidised rate.


There are 18 polyclinics in Singapore located all around the island that you can seek help at. The price of consultation at polyclinics ranges from $6.90 to $24. You may also enjoy subsidies at any CHAS GP clinics if you are a CHAS cardholder.


  • Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic

  • Bedok Polyclinic

  • Bukit Batok Polyclinic

  • Bukit Merah Polyclinic

  • Choa Chu Kang Polyclinic

  • Clementi Polyclinic

  • Geylang Polyclinic

  • Hougang Polyclinic

  • Jurong Polyclinic

  • Marine Parade Polyclinic

  • Outram Polyclinic

  • Pasir Ris Polyclinic

  • Queenstown Polyclinic

  • Sengkang Polyclinic

  • Tampines Polyclinic

  • Toa Payoh Polyclinic

  • Woodlands Polyclinic

  • Yishun Polyclinic


However, subsidies for schizophrenia are only claimable at certain CHAS clinics. You may call the CHAS hotline for more information at 1800-275-2427 (1800-ASK-CHAS).


Counselling centres & helplines

Lastly, there are also counselling centres and helplines if you need someone to listen to you.

​Counselling centre

Address & Contact number

Price

AWARE (for women)

Block 5 Dover Crescent #01-22 1800-774-5935 / 67797137

$35 per session (monthly salary < $3,000)


2% of monthly salary (monthly salary > $3,000)


Care Corner

8 New Industrial Road


1800-353-5800


Not indicated

Counselling & Care Centre

Block 536 Upper Cross Street #05-241

Hong Lim Complex


65366366


$180 per hour ($40 - $150 per hour after subsidies)

Fei Yue Community Services

​Block 604 Choa Chu Kang St 62 #01-53


65631106


​Not indicated

Mount Elizabeth Charter Helpline

​Mount Elizabeth Hospital 3


1800-738-9595


Free

Raffles Counselling Centre

​Raffles Hospital, 585 North Bridge Road


63111222


​$160.50 - $856

SAGE Counselling Centre

1 Jurong West Central 2 #06-04

Jurong Point Shopping Centre


63541191


​Free for Singaporeans/PR

Foreigners: $50 per hour (centre) / $100 per hour (home)


Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)

Block 10 Cantonment Close #01-01


1800-221-4444


Not indicated

​Shan You Counselling Centre

Block 5 Upper Boon Keng Road #02-15 67419293

$80 per session (individual)

$100 per session (couple/family)


​Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH)

Block 69 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh


1800-283-7019


Donation basis


Conclusion


Schizophrenia is a serious mental health condition that affects not only the patient, but the people around him or her. Patients often find that their quality of life decreases and their relationships with others are affected. Early diagnosis and treatment can help patients manage their condition and regain control over their life.

 

At frankie, we make mental healthcare and wellness easy for all with just one small task a day. Head on guided wellness journeys that understand your stressors or triggers or work with our behavioural and wellness professionals - all from the comfort and privacy of your home. Sign up for our Closed BETA here.

 

This editorial section solely expresses the opinion of frankie and is not endorsed nor commissioned by any external party. The list is non-exhaustive. At frankie, we believe that your best provider of medical advice is your doctor. Please consult a doctor before undergoing any treatment or procedure.

 

References:


1. National Institute of Mental Health (2020). NIMH» Schizophrenia. [online] www.nimh.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/ [Accessed 10 Jun. 2021].


2. Mayo Clinic (2020). Schizophrenia - Symptoms and Causes. [online] Mayo Clinic. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/schizophrenia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354443 [Accessed 10 Jun. 2021].


3. Cherry, K. (2020). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. [online] Verywell Mind. Available at: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-cognitive-behavior-therapy-2795747 [Accessed 10 Jun. 2021].


4. Mayo Clinic (2017). Family therapy - Mayo Clinic. [online] Mayoclinic.org. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/family-therapy/about/pac-20385237 [Accessed 10 Jun. 2021].


5. Mayo Clinic (2020). Schizophrenia - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic. [online] Mayoclinic.org. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/schizophrenia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354449 [Accessed 10 Jun. 2021].


6. Mayo Clinic (2020). Schizophrenia - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic. [online] Mayoclinic.org. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/schizophrenia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354449 [Accessed 10 Jun. 2021].


7. Patel, K.R., Cherian, J., Gohil, K. and Atkinson, D. (2014). Schizophrenia: Overview and Treatment Options. P & T : a peer-reviewed Journal for Formulary Management, [online] 39(9), pp.638–45. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4159061/ [Accessed 10 Jun. 2021].


8. Central Provident Fund Board (2019). CPFB Schemes - Healthcare. [online] Cpf.gov.sg. Available at: https://www.cpf.gov.sg/Members/Schemes/schemes/healthcare/medishield-life [Accessed 10 Jun. 2021].


9. Ministry of Health Singapore (2018). MOH | MediFund. [online] Moh.gov.sg. Available at: https://www.moh.gov.sg/cost-financing/healthcare-schemes-subsidies/medifund [Accessed 10 Jun. 2021].


10. Ministry of Health (2019). MOH | News Highlights. [online] www.moh.gov.sg. Available at: https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/use-of-medisave-savings-for-mental-health-therapy-and-counselling-treatment-at-public-hospitals/ [Accessed 10 Jun. 2021].


11. Ministry of Health (2019a). MediSave. [online] Moh.gov.sg. Available at: https://www.moh.gov.sg/cost-financing/healthcare-schemes-subsidies/medisave [Accessed 10 Jun. 2021].


12. Morin, A. (2020). Here’s How to Pick a Therapist You’ll Likely Work Well With. [online] Verywell Mind. Available at: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-choose-the-right-therapist-for-you-4842306 [Accessed 10 Jun. 2021].