5 Things to Consider Before Visiting a Healthcare Specialist in Singapore 2023

The maze that is Healthcare

The Singapore healthcare system is impressive in many ways — from a comprehensive financial system to accessible hospitals and local neighbourhood GPs within walking distance of your home. In fact, in 2020, it ranked 1st in the world for the most efficient healthcare, according to Bloomberg’s Health-Efficiency Index. 

But what do you do when it’s not just the flu? With the numerous options available, navigating the healthcare system can also be quite daunting and confusing, especially if you’re not familiar with it. 

Some people don’t like the wait (or do not have the luxury of time to do so) and are often passed around from one healthcare provider to the next until you find the right doctor for your condition. The comprehensive financial system may also be overwhelming, with the need to understand your insurance plans and the policies and entitlements that come with them. 

  1. Is it the right doctor?

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a GP referral to see a specialist. You can contact the specialist clinic directly to make an appointment. 

If you are already aware of your symptoms and have a general idea of what you suffer from, you could cut your time spent by visiting a specialist right away. For example, urinary issues could entail a visit to a urologist. 

Knowing your doctor’s background is essential. Specialist doctors have sub-specialties and certain treatments and techniques they are known for. These can generally be found on their clinic websites. 

An alternative option would be to visit your GP for an initial diagnosis, in which they may refer you to a specialist after. The trade-off, however, is that it may take you more consultations and hence, a longer wait before you get the necessary treatment or procedure. This may not be the best option if your condition is time-sensitive or if you’re experiencing symptoms that you would want immediately treated.

  1. Are you insured?

Healthcare in Singapore is expensive, especially for expatriates. This makes it paramount to take your insurance coverage into consideration. You may have restrictions on which medical providers you can visit and if certain treatments are insurance claimable. 

Some clinics have this information available online, but it would be best to give them a call and enquire because this information may not always be up-to-date. 

If you reside overseas, note that many insurance companies only partially cover emergency medical flights. Remember to read the fine details of your insurance policies carefully. 

  1. Visa applications

If you live outside of Singapore and would like to seek treatment within the country, you may need to make the appropriate visa application arrangements. 

You can apply via the Singapore embassy in your respective countries. Generally, you’ll have to make sure you have:

It’s important to note that these applications may take time, depending on your country of residence. It may take as long as 6 weeks, so plan early! 

Pro-tip: If you’ve already found the specialist you’d like to visit in Singapore, you may request a supporting letter to aid in your application.

  1. Getting around

Clinic location matters, especially if you will have to see the doctor often for check-ups and long-term care. Look into the location of the clinic, how accessible it is and how long it will take to travel to and fro appointments.

On that note, if you live outside Singapore, consider the necessary transport arrangements you would need to make. For more serious cases and disabilities, you may require medical evacuation services. 

  1. Post-care support

If you plan to undergo surgery or a procedure, remember to make the necessary arrangements. Have a trusted friend or family member assume the role of primary caregiver to assist with the transition from hospital to home. 

What’s Beyond Medical Assistance?

Here at Beyond Medical Assistance (BMA), we believe in providing accessible and holistic healthcare experiences that go beyond the provision of medical services. Helmed by a healthcare management team with a combined experience of 40 years, the BMA team will hear your concerns and refer you to the appropriate specialist in the public or private sector. 

We function as a single point of contact for all your healthcare needs, such as:

Beyond Medical Assistance also has in-house healthcare ambassadors to assist with hospital admissions and to facilitate proper communication between your overseas medical provider and Singapore specialist, ensuring that you get the necessary care and attention. Getting treatment doesn’t have to be complicated. If in doubt, WhatsApp or call us at +65 6589 8111, or drop us an email at wecare@beyondmedical.com.sg for a consultation. 

Beyond Medical Group Awarded Leadership in Competencies and Capabilities

Beyond Medical Group is humbled and grateful to accept the "Leadership in Competencies and Capabilities" at the FutureCFO Awards. Our finance team has definitely worked very hard to make this possible. It was also a timely award as BMG celebrates its 10th year anniversary and all our achievements thus far.

This award is not just a recognition of our efforts as a company, but it is a testament to everyone’s hard work, dedication, and the unwavering commitment of our entire team. Without their relentless pursuit of excellence and their passion for patient care, this achievement would not have been possible. We are grateful for this accolade and honour.

Singapore, 6 March 2023 - FutureCFO, Asia’s leading media for finance professionals, has announced finalists for the 2023 FutureCFO Excellence Awards. A distinguished panel of judges, themselves successful finance executives, nominated their top choices for companies and individuals that demonstrated outstanding leadership, operations and technology skills.

This year’s awards featured over 20 shortlisted nominations in 14 awards categories that
recognise Leadership Practice, Business Leadership, Operational Excellence or Technology
Innovation. Winners were announced on Wednesday, 22 February 2023, during a gala dinner at The St. Regis Singapore.

The FutureCFO Excellence Awards recognise the best finance professionals from across the region, industries and functions. The Awards applaud the invaluable contribution of finance towards the transformation and growth of the organisation and the individuals who work as a team to achieve their stated mission and goals.

This year’s theme, Achieving Resilience Through Transformative Innovation, acknowledges the challenges that finance professionals have faced as individuals and team members in maintaining resilience throughout the pandemic and working towards sustainable growth for 2022 and beyond. The Awards are a testament to how finance empowers the transformation of business models and industries through the creative use of strategic thinking, innovative processes, advanced technologies, and the sheer will of the leaders who lead the function.

About Beyond Medical Group

Beyond Medical Group (BMG) is a healthcare collective that believes in providing quality private healthcare with a portfolio of private specialists clinics, medical aesthetics clinics and medical spa branches in Singapore. Its main prerogative is to build clinics from the ground up, putting a large focus on clinic management and ensuring that their clinics remain relevant, profitable and competitive by providing logistic, organisational and administrative support so that doctors can focus on clinical work and patient care delivery.

About FutureCFO

FutureCFO empowers the CFO and the Finance Team to take on the leadership positions in the digitalization of the enterprise. More than just a portal for the exchange of industry best practices and learned experiences, it also acts as a platform for the current and next generation of finance leaders. FutureCFO is a wholly owned media brand of Cxociety Pte Ltd.

CXOCIETY builds relationships with the C-level community in Asia through Digital Media, Custom Content, Events, and Research and Reports. The leadership team at CXOCIETY has over 50 years of experience in C-Level engagement and understands the challenges faced by senior executives in their day-to-day work.

#BehindTheScope with Consultant Urologist, Dr Fiona Wu

Urologists are medical doctors are specialised in conditions that affect the urinary tract (kidney, ureters, bladder, urethra, and prostate in men) in both the young and old, as well as diseases that affect the reproductive system.

In light of International Women’s Day, we’d like to feature Consultant Urologist Dr Fiona Wu, a doctor dedicated to empowering women to seek the healthcare they need and deserve. In this #BehindTheScope interview, we get up close and personal with Dr Fiona Wu, as she provides some insight into her profession and passion. 

1. Why did you decide to become a doctor?

It’s the easiest job to be able to help people in general. In my younger years, as a JC student, it was hard to make a career choice — but I ultimately chose a tough but very fulfilling job.


2. Why did you choose your specialty?

I chose to specialise in Urology because it’s such an exciting field with many innovations, and there is instant gratification when the patients get well fast.

3. What do you look forward to everyday before heading out to your clinic?

The most satisfying thing is seeing my patients get well, of course!

It’s very gratifying to be able to help patients regain continence — especially since women often consider urinary incontinence as something as “natural” as our skin sagging or bones getting weaker — but that’s not true. Many conditions causing these symptoms (like the inability to hold urine) are very treatable. You can gain control of your life again, and I enjoy helping people achieve that.

For male patients, it’s really fulfilling when they can pee well after their treatments for enlarged prostates or other voiding problems.

4. What is one common misconception the general public has about your specialty? What’s one thing you wish the public would realise about it?

There’s a common misconception that only male patients have to see a urologist and females only see gynaecologists! As a urologist, we see both genders, and we can treat both.

5. Why did you decide to set up a private healthcare centre as compared to other healthcare settings?

I chose to start Aare Urocare because I can provide treatments in a more timely, personalised and effective way. As my clinic has most of the equipment required for a diagnosis, patients are able to save time and costs after the consultation. 

6. What is the most memorable moment in your career?

One of the most memorable moments was when I spent a year in Switzerland for my fellowship. Living and working in Europe was a real eye-opener!

Due to cultural differences, the Europeans are generally more independent when they have urological conditions, and I learnt how to teach our local patients about self-care and self-motivation. Also, doing complex cases with my mentors was really stressful and challenging but very rewarding and enriching at the same time.

7. What piece of healthcare advice would you give to Singaporeans?

Being proactive and taking ownership of your health also means listening to your body well. Look out for signs and symptoms and visit your doctor to get checked if you experience any symptoms that concern you. Often, many of these conditions are treatable and outcomes are best when the problems are addressed early. 

Please take care of your health and take responsibility for it! Know your conditions and understand the treatment plans and medications!

8. What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

Can I just say sleeping? *laughs* Well, I like to exercise on days when I’m not so tired, and holidays overseas are always good for the soul. 

About Dr Fiona Wu

Dr Fiona Wu is the Medical Director & Consultant Urologist at Aare Urocare in Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore. She has been a practitioner in the field for over 15 years, and her clinical interests include female urology, neuro-urology and reconstructive urology. She believes strongly in treating urinary incontinence in holistic ways using minimally invasive methods. 

#BehindTheScope Interview with Gastroenterologist, Dr Benjamin Yip

alpha digestive and liver centre

Gastroenterologists are medical doctors who are specialised in conditions that affect the digestive system. This includes the gastrointestinal tract (oesophagus, stomach and intestines) and the biliary tract (liver, bile ducts, pancreas and gallbladder). In this #BehindTheScope interview, we get insights from Dr Benjamin Yip, who tells us more about his profession and passion.

1. Why did you decide to become a doctor?

My parents are both doctors, and they have both inspired me in their own ways. 

Also, for males doing Medicine in Singapore, it was something different - being able to experience NS and pursue our studies - which seemed like a good proposition then!

2. Why did you choose your specialty?

I have been interested in digestive medicine since Medical School, so for me, my mind was already set on becoming either a Digestive Surgeon or Gastroenterologist. I did a posting in General Surgery as a Medical Officer and, in experiencing both, I realised I preferred Gastroenterology!

3. What do you look forward to everyday before heading out to your clinic?

I look forward to solving each and every digestive problem for my patients. I especially love it if I am able to solve their problems with endoscopy, which is one of my greatest passions within the realm of Gastroenterology. 

4. What is one common misconception the general public has about your specialty? What’s one thing you wish the public would realise about it?

Many people think Gastroenterologists also do surgeries for their patients. In actual fact, we are physicians, so we don’t do surgeries. The digestive surgeries are done by Upper Gastrointestinal, Hepato-pancreato-biliary and Colorectal Surgeons. So, Gastroenterologists work very closely with these 3 groups of surgeons. 

I wish the public would realise the importance of screening for certain digestive cancers like colorectal, liver and stomach. They can present/rear their ugly head in late stages, so it is really important to go for screening when one is of a certain age and/or has certain risk factors.  

5. Why did you decide to set up a private healthcare centre as compared to other healthcare settings?

I have worked in the public healthcare sector for close to 20 years. Eventually, I’ve come to realise that I wanted to set up something where I have free rein to focus on important aspects of patient care. 

In the public sector, there are times when you are pulled away from patient care for other duties such as education, research or administration. Even the way we manage patients may be restricted in the public sector, and this is much less the case in the private sector. 

6. What is the most memorable moment in your career?

This was when I was awarded the MOH Health Manpower Development Plan Award to pursue further training in Advanced Endoscopy — a subspecialty within Gastroenterology which I am most passionate about. I spent a year in London, UK, and had one of the most fruitful and rewarding seasons in my career.

7. What piece of healthcare advice would you give to Singaporeans?

Good health is not just about good physical health. Psychological, emotional and spiritual health is just as important and are often overlooked. Take the time to enjoy the moment, whatever the circumstances, so you won’t regret it when the time has passed. 

8. What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

I like to run and do HIIT to de-stress and keep fit. I also like to read up on the latest car models and go for test drives when my schedule allows for it. Lastly, I love travelling, and I am so glad the borders are now open — hopefully, COVID-19 will soon be but a memory!

About Dr Benjamin Yip

Dr Benjamin Yip is the Medical Director & Consultant Gastroenterologist at Alpha Digestive & Liver Centre. He has been a practitioner in the field for almost 20 years, and his expertise lies in advanced endoscopy, where he performs complex endoscopic procedures, such as ERCP, EUS, deep enteroscopy Spyglass cholangioscopy and enteral dilation/stenting. 

UTIs: Uro or Gynae?

What is a UTI?

A Urinary Tract Infection or UTI refers to the infection of any part of your urinary system. This system comprises the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. If you have UTIs in the kidney, it will be called Pyelonephritis.  If you have UTI in the bladder, it will be known as Cystitis. UTI originating in the urethra will then be known as Urethritis.

UTIs can also be further classified into two categories: 

Uncomplicated UTIs are more likely to occur in women. These women are usually young, sexually active and have no structural abnormalities in their genitourinary tract. 

Usually, uncomplicated UTIs go away without treatment and are confined to the lower urinary tract.

Complicated UTIs commonly refer to UTIs that:

UTI Symptoms

Symptoms of UTIs generally are the same across all UTI types and categories. These include:

When should I see a doctor for my UTI?

Generally, UTIs go away on their own. The real issue starts if and when untreated UTI spreads to other parts of the urinary tract. For example, if UTI spreads to the kidneys, immediate medical attention is needed before kidney failure occurs. Apart from the symptoms mentioned above, you may experience:

UTI in the kidney can be dangerous as the infection can permanently damage your kidneys or spread to the bloodstream (sepsis). Complications of sepsis include excessive blood clotting, which can rupture blood vessels or cause tissue death in essential organs. 

Hence, it is paramount to get immediate medical care if you experience the symptoms above. 

How do UTIs happen?

UTI is caused by a bacterial infection, the most common being Escherichia coli (E. Coli)

Usually, the bacteria is transferred from the anus to the urethra when one wipes from back to front.

Other bacteria which may cause UTIs include mycoplasma and chlamydia. These bacterial infections are sexually transmitted, so when the infection is detected in either partner, both need to undergo medical treatment to avoid recurrent UTIs. 

If you are a woman who has reached menopause, your risk of getting a UTI is also higher as the hormonal imbalances in your body may affect the balance of bacteria in your urinary tract, causing UTI.

Can children get UTIs?

For children, UTIs usually signify more serious conditions such as urinary reflux. Urinary reflux refers to the backflow of urine to the kidneys due to a dysfunctional bladder valve. This increases the risk of a kidney infection in the child, which can be fatal. 

Since urinary reflux runs in families, it is important to screen children early if a close relative has the same condition. 

Can UTIs go away on their own?

Most uncomplicated UTIs can go away on their own in about a week. However, the recovery rate greatly depends on the individual, where some might never recover from UTIs unless they receive medical treatment. 

These cases of long-term UTIs are dangerous, as the infection may spread to the kidneys to cause pyelonephritis or sepsis. 

Since one cannot tell which kind of UTI is affecting the individual, it would be advisable to seek treatment immediately when you see signs of a UTI. If it is an uncomplicated UTI, medical treatment will help you recover quicker than without it. 

So which doctor do I consult?

First, we should ask ourselves a few questions:

If you experience only these symptoms, it may be ideal to visit a Urologist. 

However, you may also experience additional symptoms such as:

If so, then a Gynaecologist would be ideal.

Urologist vs. Gynaecologist


A Gynaecologist is a doctor who specialises in female reproductive health and disease which affects the female reproductive system. Organs of the female reproductive system include:

To diagnose gynaecological conditions, Gynaecologists will need to know what symptoms you have experienced and conduct a series of diagnostic tests. These tests may include hysteroscopy, Pap smears, mammograms and bone density tests. 

 Some examples of gynaecological conditions include:

After arriving at a diagnosis, your Gynaecologist will work out an appropriate treatment plan for you based on your condition. 


A Urologist treats both males and females when they face issues in the genitourinary tract. This system comprises the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Symptoms of urological conditions are generally pee-related and can sometimes extend to pelvic pain. 

If your Urologist suspects you have a urological condition, they will first need to run some tests to diagnose you. These tests include:

If your urologist confirms that you have a UTI, the treatments which you could be given include:

Of course, urological conditions are not just limited to UTIs.  Bladder cancer, kidney and ureteral stones are all conditions that a Urologist can diagnose and treat. To do so, your Urologist might need to run further diagnostic tests like blood tests or do a biopsy. 


It can be tough to know when to see a Gynaecologist or Urologist, as symptoms of gynecologic conditions can overlap with those of a UTI. In these situations, the key to choosing the right specialist involves considering any other symptoms present and undergoing more tests.  

If you are unsure about where and how to find a doctor for your UTI, try Beyond Medical Assistance! This platform was built to assist in your medical enquiries and help you book appointments with the right doctor. Our knowledgeable healthcare management team has more than 40 years of combined medical experience and would be glad to assist you in your healthcare journey. 


Bandukwala, N. Q. (2022, January 18). Urine Culture Test: Purpose, Duration, Levels of Bacteria in Urine. WebMD. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-urine-culture 

Bhandari, T. (2017, March 30). Vaginal bacteria can trigger recurrent UTIs, study shows – Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://medicine.wustl.edu/news/vaginal-bacteria-can-trigger-recurrent-utis-study-shows/ 

Brennan, D. (2021, June 29). What Is a Gynecologist? What They Do, When You Need One, and What to Expect. WebMD. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/women/what-is-gynecologist 

Essential oils for UTIs: Do they work? (n.d.). Medical News Today. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321582#essential-oils-for-a-uti 

Intravesical Treatment for Recurrent UTI (2022). AARE Urology. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from https://aareurology.sg/services/intravesical-treatment-for-recurrent-uti/ 

Lyons, G. (n.d.). Pelvic Pain & Abdominal Pain in Women: Causes, Symptoms. K Health. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from https://khealth.com/learn/symptom/abdominal-pain/ 

The Research Institute of Asian Women. (n.d.). Asian Women - The Research Institute of Asian Women. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from http://www.e-asianwomen.org/_common/do.php?a=full&b=21&bidx=146&aidx=1688 

Roedersheimer, R. (2021, May 9). Urologist or Gynecologist? Here are the Conditions They Treat. The Urology Group. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://www.urologygroup.com/urologist-or-gynecologist/ 

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) (2022). AARE Urology. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from https://aareurology.sg/conditions/urinary-tract-infection-uti/ 

Urinary tract infections (UTI). (2018, May 25). Better Health Channel. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/urinary-tract-infections-uti 

Urinary tract infection (UTI) - Diagnosis and treatment. (2021, April 23). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-tract-infection/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353453 

Watson, S. (n.d.). Cranberry Juice for UTIs: Can Cranberries Help Prevent UTIs? WebMD. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/cranberries-for-uti-protection 

Getting a Medical Concierge Service in Singapore 2023

As COVID-19 safe management measures (SMMs) lift, many of you would have likely felt the squeeze as crowds started to appear. With more people out and about, this will likely translate into longer waiting times everywhere, including hospitals. 

Health problems are usually time-sensitive and require treatment as soon as possible. However, not everyone has the luxury of time to wait their turn at hospitals. Hence, to meet their healthcare needs, many have turned to an alternate solution: e-medical concierges. 

What is a Medical Concierge Service?

Did you know that like hotels, the healthcare industry also has its own concierge services? 

In hospitals, patient or clinical concierges help patients navigate the complex world of clinical trials, medical services, and medical insurance. Their primary purpose is to make the patient’s stay in the hospital as comfortable as possible. 

Outside of hospitals, medical concierges also exist online and usually act as intermediaries between patients and private healthcare providers. The end result is usually faster, more convenient and personalised treatment.

Types of Online Medical Concierges

Online medical concierges can be differentiated into subtypes such as:

Most medical concierges often have services that overlap between the three types stated above so as to capture a broader pool of customers. Some have even further differentiated to provide services such as managing employee medical benefits for companies. 

What is the difference between Concierge Nursing and Medical Concierges?

Concierge Nursing

When you engage the services of Concierge Nurses, you find that concierge nurses are:

This means patients directly contact the individual nurse to request specific healthcare services and can receive physical aid at whichever location they are at.

Those patients on a subscription plan will also have to pay a regular fee for the nurse’s healthcare services. This regular fee will have to be paid even if there were no visits during the subscription period (e.g. 0 visits a month incurs the same cost as 30 visits a month). 

e-Medical Concierge

An e-medical concierge usually does not send healthcare professionals to go to a patient physically but recommends doctors for a patient to visit.

Payment modes also differ between Medical Concierges and Concierge Nursing. Medical Concierges are more varied in payment plans, whereby patients enjoy the services for free or pay based on the services used. Concierge Nurses usually only have two modes of payment — subscription-based payments and pay-by-service plans.

How do Medical Concierge Services work in Singapore?

To engage the services of an e-Medical Concierge in Singapore, simply contact the concierge, and tell them about your concerns. From there, the healthcare advisor on the call will refer you to a specialist who can tackle your problems. 

Depending on which Medical Concierge you call, they may even help you book an appointment with said specialist or arrange a hospital admission if you urgently require medical care. 

If you are an overseas patient, some clinics will be able to help with your travel arrangements all to facilitate your healthcare experience.

Are there any e-Medical Concierges in Singapore?

Some examples of e-Medical Concierges in Singapore include:

What can a Medical Concierge Service do for me?

In general, medical concierge services in Singapore are targeted at both local and foreign patients. The list of services they provide is wide and varied, but a few common services are as follows.

Medical Concierge Services for both local and foreign patients:

Additional Medical Concierge Services for foreign patients:

Do note that this list does not capture all services provided by the various Medical Concierges, but serves only as a general guide.

What is the cost of a Medical Concierge Service?

The cost generally depends on the services and concierge you choose. 

Services such as booking appointments, answering enquiries and referrals to specialists are free of charge for most medical concierges.

However, if your choose to engage the services of a concierge doctor, you will need to pay regular membership fees. Otherwise, consultation fees for specialists are usually determined by the clinic you choose to go to after obtaining free referrals from the Medical Concierge. 

How do I know which Medical Concierge Service is right for me?

Apart from looking at the services offered by the Medical Concierge, you should also choose a concierge that you can trust to:

One good example is Beyond Medical Assistance, which provides unbiased referrals to all doctors, public or private. These referrals will also be guided by specialists who have at least 15 years of clinical experience and a healthcare management team, with a combined experience of over 40 years in the industry. That way, you can rest assured, knowing that the medical aid you receive is what you truly need.

Other than that, you are free to choose any concierge services that you feel most comfortable with. 

How do I contact a Medical Concierge Service?

Contacting an e-Medical Concierge Service is usually hassle-free and done via a text message or phone call.

The first step is to Google for a Medical Concierge that looks like it would suit you. Then just look for the “Contact Us” button on their respective websites or contact information like:

For Beyond Medical Assistance, please call us or WhatsApp us for any enquiry.


Medical concierges are free and easily accessible to the public. If you want to skip the queue at hospitals to get a doctor’s appointment, need a specialist referral, or simply want your medical enquiries answered by healthcare professionals, this is definitely a suitable option for you. 

The Complete Guide to Sinusitis Treatment in Singapore (2023)

What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis is a condition that occurs when the sinuses become inflamed and swollen. The sinuses are the cavities around your nasal passages. Inflammation to this area thus blocks drainage and causes mucus build-up in your nose.

The condition is quite common, with around 90% of adults getting the condition at least once. In Singapore, this is even more so due to the climate. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, with some cases clearing within a few days or weeks without intervention, while some other cases may last longer, requiring antibiotics and even surgery.

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

The symptoms of sinusitis include:

Some patients also experience aching pain around the jaw and teeth, ear pain, headache, sore throat, fever, nausea, and fatigue.

What are the types and causes of sinusitis?

There are 2 types of sinusitis:

·  Acute sinusitis

·  Chronic sinusitis

The differences between these 2 types will be discussed in the next section.

There are also a few different causes, including:

What are the differences between acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis?

The main difference between the two is the persistence of the symptoms.

Acute sinusitis is also known as acute rhinosinusitis. This condition happens when the symptoms last up to 12 weeks. As the name suggests, sinusitis develops suddenly, often along with a common cold.

Symptoms include runny and stuffy nose and facial pain that persists for 10 days or more. This kind of sinusitis often responds well to home remedies, antibiotics, decongestants, and other oral medications. A sub-type, known as recurrent acute sinusitis, refers to the condition where sinusitis symptoms come back 4 or more times in a year, with each one lasting less than 2 weeks.

On the other hand, sinusitis is classified as chronic sinusitis if the symptoms last more than 12 weeks, even with medical interventions. Note that chronic sinusitis may happen as a complication of acute sinusitis.

Also, symptoms of chronic and acute sinusitis are similar, but fever is not typically experienced by chronic sinusitis patients. For chronic sinusitis cases, oral medicines may not be able to successfully treat the condition and surgical intervention may be necessary. More details on the treatment options will be discussed in the following sections.

What complications can arise from untreated sinusitis?

Very rarely, in some cases, untreated sinusitis may cause complications such as:

Is sinusitis contagious?

This depends on the cause of the sinusitis. Bacterial and fungal sinusitis are not contagious, but viral sinusitis are! The virus may spread through:

When should I go to a doctor for sinusitis?

You should visit a doctor if:

For your visit, take note of:

Do visit the doctor immediately if you experience:

These symptoms are signs of a serious infection, and you should get it checked immediately! Your ENT specialist can run a thorough diagnosis and create a personalised treatment plan.

How is sinusitis diagnosed?

Sinusitis, especially for chronic cases, is diagnosed through a nasoendoscopic examination. This involves using a small camera that is attached to a tube that will be inserted into the nose to visually inspect the sinuses. This is a really quick procedure that can take less than 3 minutes. The procedure may be uncomfortable but is completely painless for the most part.

If an anatomical abnormality is suspected to be the cause of your condition, a CT scan might also be taken to see the severity and complexity of your condition. This is usually only for chronic or recurring cases.

On top of that, a sample of your nasal discharge may also be taken and examined to determine the exact cause of your condition. This is critical in determining the type of treatment that will be suitable for your case.

Also, if your sinusitis is suspected to have developed following an allergic reaction, your doctor may also recommend an allergy skin test. It is a very quick, painless procedure that can help pinpoint the allergen causing your inflammation and, with that, help you prevent subsequent flare-ups.

What are the treatment options for sinusitis?

For cases of acute sinusitis, the symptoms tend to clear by themselves within a few days. Some treatments that may help you manage the symptoms include:

That said, if the symptoms persist, do get a prescription from a doctor. Depending on the cause of your sinusitis, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or antifungal medications to help clear the condition. If you do get antibiotics, remember to take the whole course prescribed to you, even if the symptoms have cleared out. This is to prevent recurrent sinusitis that may be harder to treat.

If allergies are the main cause of your sinusitis, your doctor may also use immunotherapy, also known as “Allergy Shots”. This helps reduce your body’s reaction to specific allergens thus helping you manage the inflammation and other symptoms.

Surgical treatment for sinusitis

If oral medications are unable to treat the condition, a surgery called functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) may be necessary. First, your doctor will use a thin, flexible tube (endoscope) to explore the sinus passages. Then depending on your condition, your doctor will remove or shave away tissues that are causing the nasal blockage. Another method is to enlarge a narrow sinus opening.

Home remedies to alleviate sinusitis symptoms

Above medications and treatments, there are a few lifestyle changes that will help you manage the symptoms of sinusitis. This includes:

Can sinusitis be prevented?

Yes! Steps to prevent developing sinusitis include:


If you are currently experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned in this article, do visit a doctor to get your condition checked. Sinusitis is definitely treatable, especially if treated promptly. Also, take note of the tips mentioned to help relieve the symptoms! Now after reading this, just take a deep breath, have some rest, and relax.

“Chronic Sinusitis - Singapore.” HealthHub, https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/226/chronic_sinusitis_ttsh. Accessed 28 December 2022.

Chumar, Alvin. “What Is Sinusitis?” HealthXchange.sg, https://www.healthxchange.sg/head-neck/ear-nose-throat/what-sinusitis. Accessed 28 December 2022.

Mok, Paul. “Sinus Singapore | Sinusitis Singapore.” My ENT Specialist, https://www.myentspecialist.sg/sinus-problems.php. Accessed 28 December 2022.

“Sinus Infection (Sinusitis): Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic, 4 June 2020, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17701-sinusitis. Accessed 28 December 2022.

“Sinusitis – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment.” Gleneagles Hospital, https://www.gleneagles.com.sg/specialties/medical-specialties/ear-nose-throat/sinusitis. Accessed 28 December 2022.

A Comprehensive Guide to Droopy Eyelid / Ptosis Correction in Singapore (2023)

What is ptosis?

Ptosis, which is more commonly known as droopy eyelids, refers to a condition where the upper eyelids fall to a lower position than normal. Primarily, the muscle that opens the eyelid is the levator palpebrae superioris. This action is also supported by the superior tarsal muscle. Any issues with either of these muscles may sometimes lead to ptosis.

Ptosis may affect only one eye (unilateral ptosis) or both eyes (bilateral ptosis). In severe cases, the drooping eyelid may partially or completely obstruct the pupil, resulting in a reduced field of vision.

What causes ptosis?

Ptosis can be congenital or acquired, meaning that it develops gradually over time. Some common causes of ptosis include:

Most commonly, ptosis develops due to the stretching of the eyelid muscles or ligaments. This could be caused by excessive rubbing of the eyes, eye surgery, or the use of rigid contact lenses. It can also be caused by eyelid tumours, cysts, or swelling. Additionally, the eyelid muscles will naturally get weaker due to ageing, making ptosis more likely to occur in old age.

What are the symptoms of ptosis?

The primary symptom of ptosis is the drooping of one or both eyelids. Other symptoms may include:

The symptoms accompanying each individual case of ptosis will largely depend on the underlying cause, as well as the severity of the ptosis.

Can ptosis go away on its own?

Ptosis can sometimes resolve on its own. However, this greatly depends on the cause of the ptosis. For example, ptosis caused by nerve problems may improve without any treatment. More often, ptosis is progressive in nature, meaning that it could worsen over time. In such cases, medical intervention will be needed to treat this condition. This could be surgical or non-surgical in nature.

Are there any home remedies for ptosis?

There are certain exercises and home remedies that have been said to treat symptoms of ptosis. For example, chamomile tea bag compresses are often used to reduce inflammation and calm nerves, and some believe that the consumption of Vitamin B12 can also help to treat ptosis. Some exercises believed to help with drooping eyelids include Trataka yogic eye exercises and eye patch exercises in cases of unilateral ptosis.

However, the aforementioned methods are not scientifically proven and are unlikely to give effective and lasting results. A qualified ophthalmologist will be more able to properly diagnose and treat ptosis, either through surgical or non-surgical means.

How is ptosis diagnosed?

An illustration on Marginal Reflex Distance (MRD)

While ptosis can have some obvious visible symptoms, an ophthalmologist will still need to evaluate the underlying cause of the condition to formulate an effective treatment plan. First, you will be asked specifically about your ptosis and then about your general medical history. You will most likely have to undergo a full eye exam. Your ophthalmologist may then carry out one or more of the following tests:

If your ophthalmologist suspects that your ptosis is caused by an underlying condition, he or she may suggest certain blood tests, diagnostic imaging tests, or even a Tensilon test. This is when you are injected with Tensilon, or edrophonium, and asked to carry out specific actions. This test is used to measure muscle strength.

How can ptosis be treated?

Ptosis treatment depends largely on the cause and extent of the condition and can be either minimally invasive or surgical in nature. When an underlying condition is the cause of ptosis, you will most likely be treated for that condition first.

Some minimally invasive treatment options for ptosis include:

If surgery is required for your ptosis, a blepharoplasty will most likely be performed. This surgery is often used to tighten the levator muscles, although it can also be done to remove any excess mass in the eyelid. While the main goal of blepharoplasty is to lift the eyelids, your surgeon will also try to achieve symmetry for cosmetic purposes. However, this may not always be possible, especially in cases of congenital ptosis.

Other possible surgical interventions include the frontalis sling procedure, where a sling is created between the eyelid and the frontalis muscle located in the forehead. The frontalis muscle can then be used to control the upper eyelid.

What can you expect during droopy eyelid correction surgery?

After your ophthalmologist has diagnosed your condition and determined the best course of action for your ptosis treatment, he or she will explain the chosen surgical procedure to you during consultation.

The surgery itself, whether it be a blepharoplasty or otherwise, is done under local anaesthesia and it is unlikely that you will have to stay in the hospital overnight. 

After the surgery, you may experience some swelling or bruising around the affected area. This can last for a period of up to 2 weeks. The full recovery period for ptosis surgery is estimated to take up to 3 months.

While rare, there are some risks associated with ptosis correction surgery. These include bleeding, infection, under- or over-correction, as well as reduced vision. If you experience any of these side effects, please return to your ophthalmologist or plastic surgeon as soon as possible.

Is ptosis surgery Medisave / insurance claimable in Singapore?

Ptosis surgery is often only Medisave or insurance claimable in cases where the ptosis results in a functional problem, meaning that it affects your vision significantly according to MOH conditions. You will require an official assessment from an ophthalmologist and must first undergo a Marginal Reflex Distance test.

Can ptosis be prevented?

In most cases, ptosis cannot be prevented. This is especially so in cases of an underlying condition that causes ptosis.

If the ptosis is not caused by any underlying conditions, avoiding excessive eye rubbing and reducing any prolonged use of contact lenses may help to reduce your risk of developing ptosis.


Ptosis is a fairly condition that is usually congenital or caused by ageing. It can affect your appearance and even your day-to-day life if your vision is affected or if you experience symptoms like headaches or migraines. If you are suffering from ptosis and would like to seek treatment or find out more about the condition, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Specialties & Sub-specialties in Medicine: Are you seeing the right doctor?


The human body is complex, and the realm of health and medicine is just as vast and extensive. Although all doctors share the same goal of helping you get better and stay healthy, they each have their own skillset and expertise, or specialities. Some doctors opt to further their practice within the area of their specialty and focus on more specific conditions, structures or treatments — these are called subspecialties. 

For example, you could have two cardiologists who both specialise in matters of heart health (cardiology), but one could sub-specialise in interventional cardiology, while the other in electrophysiology and pacing — just like how a house would need a plumber and an electrician.

Under the same analogy, if your child had heart issues and needed treatment, would you go to a paediatric cardiologist or would you go to an interventional cardiologist? Understandably, it can be confusing. 

In Singapore, there are 49 recognised clinical specialties in the medical field, ranging from Anaesthesiology to Urology [1]. 

Each specialty branches out into sub-specialties,with over 100 different sub-specialties in Singapore. Under Cardiology, the doctor could specialise in anything from clinical cardiology to electrophysiology or heart failures and transplants. 

Why do doctors have sub-specialties?

To ensure the best patient care, sub-specialties allow doctors to narrow down their focus on specific areas of their specialty, allowing them in-depth knowledge and enabling them to treat complex health problems that they may not have been able to without subspecialising.

After completing their medical training, doctors can undergo fellowships and residencies to train in their subspecialty of choice. Doctors can even opt to have dual-subspecialty by getting the appropriate training. 

General practitioners, specialists and subspecialists

General practitioners are generally your frontline doctors or your primary care physicians. They are the first people we consult when we suffer from a symptom but do not know what’s wrong. From there, a general diagnosis is done, and they will provide you with treatment.

However, if necessary, your doctor may refer you to a specialist for a more comprehensive diagnosis and if you require more specialised and treatment. A specialist may refer you to a subspecialist if you have a specific or complex condition that needs further diagnosis. 

How do I find the right specialist doctor in Singapore?

There are two main ways to find the right specialist doctor for you:

  1. Ask your General Practitioner (GP)

As mentioned earlier, your GP could perform an initial diagnosis and help understand the underlying causes of your symptoms. If you need further treatment, they can recommend what type of specialist you should seek a diagnosis from next. 

The advantage of having your GP as the first point of contact is that they would be able to refer you to a specialist who would be better equipped to treat your condition. The trade-off, however, is that it may take you more consultations, and hence a longer wait before you get the necessary treatment or procedure. This may not be the best option if your condition is time-sensitive or if you’re experiencing symptoms that you would want immediately treated. 

  1. Do your research

If you are already aware of your symptoms, you could visit the specialist straightaway. There are hundreds of specialist doctors online in Singapore, and doing your due diligence could land you the right one. There are other things to take note of, such as:

  1. Contact Beyond Medical Assistance 

Here at Beyond Medical Assistance, we take the hassle out of finding the right medical provider and walk you through the entire process — from hearing your concerns and referring you to the right specialist to arranging your first consultation and assisting in your insurance claims and billing process. We function as a single point of contact for all your healthcare needs, such as:

Beyond Medical Assistance offers concierge services for overseas patients as well. We cut the hassle by assisting with Visa applications for medical visits, arranging medical appointments and flight and accommodation bookings. We also assist in facilitating proper communication between your overseas medical provider and Singapore specialist to ensure that you get the necessary care and attention. 


Knowing specifically where and who to consult can help you save time and receive treatment earlier. With the vastness of specialties and subspecialties available, it can, understandably, be confusing. Beyond Medical Assistance is committed to being your single point of contact for your medical needs. Contact us to book a consultation, and we’ll link you up with the right healthcare specialist. 

[1] Singapore General Hospital. “Specialties and Services.” Departments and Centres, https://www.sgh.com.sg/patient-care/specialties-services/specialties-and-services-singapore-general-hospital. Accessed 26 November 2021.

Global Health Asia-Pacific: Strategic 360 Marketing Medical Centre in Singapore 2022