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The State of Healthcare in Singapore

The quality of Singapore’s healthcare is among the most modern and secure. By international standards, it is considered as a leading example: according to The World Bank in 2009, Singapore’s life expectancy is at 79 years for men and 84 for women. The country’s population boasts of 4.7 million working citizens out of its entire population of 5.6 million.

For what has been called the most expensive city in the world, many countries look to Singapore with envy with regards to its efficient healthcare system. But how does it work?

Here are all the things you need to know about healthcare in the Lion City:

1. In the country, there are 10 public hospitals, 13 private, and a few other specialized clinics. Each facility has its own specialties and pricings. Public hospitals are open 24/7 and offer emergency services. Most Singaporean doctors are trained abroad in world-class medical facilities.

You can either choose to see a junior doctor or a senior doctor. Of course, rates are more expensive for the latter.

According to the Singapore Medical Council, more than 900 doctors are practicing in the city-state. This gives a ratio of 18 medical practitioners for every 10,000 citizens, which is more than most Asian countries.

2. Most Singaporeans buy medical insurance provided by the state-run National Health Plan. Singapore’s National Health Plan was set up in 1983 based on the 3M’s: Medisave, Medishield, and Medifund.

While Medisave is a personal health fund that levies 8-10% of a person’s salary to be deposited per month, and Medishield works as the state’s medical insurance for its citizens, Medifund serves as a form of social protection for citizens who cannot afford to pay their own medical expenses.

However, the 3M’s are only available to Singaporean citizens. Expatriates or foreigners usually purchase private insurance. This is why some healthcare facilities in Singapore have different rates for citizens and foreigners, with the latter’s of course being higher.

3. Singapore’s government emphasizes cleanliness and health awareness towards its citizens. Cultural notions of individual responsibility drive citizens not just to get healthcare, but also to keep their environment clean. This means that outbreaks of potentially life-threatening diseases such as influenza are minimized.

Singapore also benefits from strict laws and health codes with an emphasis on hygiene, and families are encouraged to follow precautions as well as to take vaccines.

Recently, Singapore’s Public Hygiene Council initiated the Keep Singapore Clean Movement, which aims to keep the general environment free from littering.

Top 4 Places Tourists Should Avoid While in Singapore

You land in Singapore, the multicultural financial hub of Southeast Asia and one of the most expensive cities in the world. As an attractive travel destination, it’s no surprise that it has hit a record of 15 million visitors as of 2013.

Tourists come year round to experience its magic, and many places have now become so packed with them that the magic has worn off. You want to avoid the tourist traps and have a true experience of being in Singapore.

Don’t worry – we’ve got you. Here are the top 4 places in Singapore to steer clear from:

1.) Newton Hawker Center/Newton Circus Food Center
Newton Circus was once a go-to to sample a plethora of cuisines, from barbecue, seafood, to satays (skewer meats), until there were too many stalls selling the same kind of food and drinks. This made competition stiff by stall owners where they are often criticized for overpricing food and compromising food quality.

Instead, consider going to Chinatown Food Center for a sample of local ethnic cuisine, or head over to Central Mall in Clarke Quay if you’re looking for eating on the cheap. You could even opt for the ice cream carts around the city instead of the more expensive ice cream parlors.

2.) Boat Quay
The boat cruise down Singapore River may seem pleasant until you realize that the whole trip is simply a haze of night lights.

Stroll down the riverside instead – not only will you get to marvel at the lights of Clarke Quay at your own pace and without the engine noise (or maybe the noise of a hundred other tourists), but the long walk and the cool evening air is guaranteed to make it romantic for you and your date.

3.) Sim Lim Square, People’s Park Complex, Lucky Plaza
Tourists should be careful when shopping in these places. While you are allowed to haggle for your electronics here, some vendors might use one-off tactics to scam customers. Some scams include charging extra for the warranty or leaving out price tags.

When shopping here, ensure that your items come with what it needs, such as power cords or batteries, before settling on a price.

Alternatively, you could shop at well-established stores, such as Funan IT Mall or Challenger, to get legitimate deals on your electronics.

4.) The Singapore Flyer
For a panorama of the glistening Singaporean city lights beneath your feet, you don’t have to shell out fifty odd dollars and share a gondola with other couples or families over a slow ride via the Singapore Flyer.
Instead, climb up to the roof of good old Esplanade. With your picnic basket and your loved one, and lay down alone under the night sky for hours.

Singapore is a beautiful place, with tourists flocking all year round. Use this guide to help you avoid the tourist traps and have a full experience of what the country has to offer.

Furniture and Home Accessory Shops in Singapore

While IKEA’s presence here in Singapore is admittedly heaven-sent, sometimes we just want something different to spruce up our home and workspaces. If you’re in the mood for something different, and if your budget allows it, shopping at some of Singapore’s furniture stores can score you your next centerpiece; all you need to have is the right know-how and a keen eye for style. Here are some of the shops that can help you find the next perfect piece for your space.

1. HipVan
HipVan’s selection of laid-back contemporary styles is perfect for those who would like to imbue their home with a casual, easy-going atmosphere. At HipVan, you can choose from a variety of categories to find the perfect piece of your home; their categories include furniture, homeware, and lighting. HipVan even lists all their products online so that you could browse their extensive list of furniture and home accessories from the comfort of your home, which can also help you visualize how an object can fit in your space. They even have an app available for download on both the App Store and on Google Play, so that you can browse their selection on your phone.

2. Artful House
Artful House is the place to go for home accessories with interesting personality. At Artful House, individuality is given high regard; its founders believe that individuality is what makes a piece beautiful and important. Using recycled wood and stained in vibrant colors, you could find breath-taking vintage-style pieces, as well as various contemporary furniture. Artful House also does custom-made furniture, so that you could find the perfect piece completely tailored to your needs.

3. Crate and Barrel
From 1999, Crate and Barrel had been creating home furniture and accessories in the US. They eventually opened international outposts, with an impressive, five-storey outlet at Orchard Gateway. With so much experience behind them, including opening outlets in Canada and Dubai, Crate and Barrel promises great quality woodwork and home accessories. Because of their international presence, you could order their items online and have them shipped to your home if you don’t want to shop at their physical store. With their large collection, they’re bound to have something that will suit your style, from vases to pillowcases, rugs and indoor and outdoor furniture.

4. Departures & Arrivals
For those who like to travel to far-off lands, Departures & Arrivals is the shop for you. This shop sells items that aim to bring the spirit of wanderlust into your home. Departures & Arrivals sources from places all over the world, and is specially curated with a keen eye for detail. Items like the Pagode Lantern and Trivet Sika Tray Tables remind us of far-off places and satiate our wanderlust just until we can hit the road again.

4 of Singapore’s Child-Friendly Libraries

Fostering a love for books in children can be one of the best things that we can do as parents and guardians. Thankfully, there are many public libraries that cater to children, from the eco-friendly play area of the Central Public Library to the Early Literacy Libraries of the Jurong and Sembawang Public Libraries. In this list, we have gathered the four best libraries to take your children to foster in them a love for the written word.

1. Toa Payoh Public Library
From its recent renovation of some areas dedicated to younger readers, Toa Payoh Public Library returns with interesting designs for its renovated sections. The Toa Payoh Pubilc Library has a lot of spaces for younger readers including the Children’s Section, whose shelves are designed to look like a ship. Story sessions are also performed here, which are perfect for children aged one to three. In one corner, there is even a homage to the beloved dragon playground of Toa Payoh, as seats and shelves are shaped in a hexagon, reminiscent of the playground’s mosaic tiles.

2. Clementi Public Library
Home to about 67,000 volumes of children’s books, Clementi Public Library is the perfect library for children. Clementi is also the home for many events and activities aimed at inspiring the creative minds of children of all ages. This library even has an interactive wall located in their children’s corner, to stimulate little minds with kinesthetic learning.

3. Woodlands Regional Library
If you want to learn about Asian children’s literature throughout history, Woodlands is for you. Here at Woodlands Regional Library, you could find the Asian Children’s Literature Collection, a collection of about 8,000 items concerning Asian Children’s literature, including rare publications that date back to the 1900s. Even if you have already browsed through their collection, it is still worth visiting again as it is refreshed and updated regularly. This library also hosts a number of events that are perfect for kids no matter the age, including storytelling and art classes, as well as IT literacy and artist talks for adults and seniors.

4. Central Public Library
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete with the Central Public Library. Considered to be the first green library for children in the world, the Central Public Library is home to their dedicated children’s play area called My Tree House, where children can sit under a tree made of dozens of recycled plastic bottles. There are also a number of interactive learning spaces where children can learn about the issues concerning the environment. One of these areas is called the Weather Stump, where children can look through weather data, as well as the Knowledge Tree, which aims to educate children through shadow play.

New Travel Trends for Singaporeans

Traveling is on everyone’s bucketlist these days. Many Singaporeans are considering the fulfilment it brings so every once in a while, we spot many tourists wearing slippers and shorts spending their holidays in neighbouring countries. If you are traveling under a budget, it is best to start with neighbouring countries for backpacking. These countries also offer good times if you only give it chance and time.

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For affluent Singaporeans, they prefer expensive countries with extraordinary activities. There is nothing wrong if these affluent people spend money on expensive things. For those who are curious of the affluent’s activities and places, here is the picture:

  • Woodbury: Woodbury is a haven for people who love shopping, discounts and famous brands. Woodbury is in America and it is an hour away from Manhattan. For tourists who happen to visit East Coast, Woodbury should be visited. The bus fare from Manhattan to Woodbury is about USD 40-50. Tourists never miss a chance to get discounts on designer goods like Prada bag for as low as $100 and Kate Spade wristlets for $10. If you plan to go there, make sure to dedicate your whole day for the trip.

 

  • Niseko: Japan is near Singapore and it is within Asia so it is not that expensive to go to however, tourists are increasingly interested on skiing. Skiing is a high status sport. Many tourists consider Niseko as a way to enjoy the cold weather. If you want to experience skiing, prepare to shed thousands of dollars from the accommodation to lessons and your gear rentals.

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  • Michelin restaurants: For foodies, there is nothing more rewarding than eating on restaurants with Michelin stars. In fact, many tourists go to the trouble of researching for nearby Michelin-starred restaurants whenever they are in London, Paris and Tokyo. Expect to pay a costly meal when visiting a Michelin-starred restaurant.

 

  • Beach resorts: Tourists indulge in a five star resort stay. Bali and Phuket are famous places to consider five star beach resorts. This little luxury will treat people from complete pool amenities and open air bathroom not to mention the bedroom.

 

  • Pre-wedding photos: Affluent couples to be wedded soon may think of extraordinary pre-wedding photos. In fact many consider a picture in Paris in front of the Eiffel Tower. If you are determined to have your pre-wedding photo in Paris, prepare to shed thousands of dollars.

These places and activities may not be for ordinary people but if you are determined to experience such, you should start saving. It is not too late.

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Famous People in Singapore

Celebrities are people who are famous in a particular place. In Singapore, famous person have different traits on how they show off to people. There are many showbiz people who care for their fans. On the other hand, there are some celebrities who don’t care of the people around them. Despite this, the love of people to celebrities cannot be replaced. The talented celebrities below are the must-watch individuals:

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String Queen

Min Lee is one of the best violinists in Singapore that has showed her exceptional talent in the whole world. She has been nicknamed as the poster girl of classical music. She acquired her talent since the time she held the violin when she was only two years old.

With the potential seen by her parents, they give Lee proper education about violins by enrolling her to Yale University. After that, she has a very unforgettable performance together with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and many more.

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Natural Beauty

Nadya Hutagalung’s beautiful face is one of her assets to become popular. However, what made her more popular is the creation of Green Kampong wherein she is the founder. It is an organization that promotes environmental consciousness. In Singapore she is the ambassadress for the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour.

Walking Dictionary

Hubert Wee is tagged the walking dictionary because of his extraordinary skills in the scrabble game. If there is any position that is higher than scrabble master, that is Hubert Wee.

Actually, there are a lot of famous people in Singapore and these are only few of the many people that need to be recognized.

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