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Public Vs Private Ambulances Vs Transport Services: Here Are The Differences In Services And Cost 

Only call for the SCDF when you have an emergency. For other cases, private ambulance services and transport companies have you covered.

According to the SCDF website, about 10% of all 995 calls each year are for non-emergencies such as constipation, toothaches, cough, and skin rashes. This can result in ambulances reaching emergency cases at a slower rate.

The SCDF categorises emergency cases as follows:

Source: SCDF

What many Singaporeans might not know is that there are private ambulances and transport services dedicated to serve non-emergency cases and provide other specialised services.

For instance, private ambulances can be a valuable option for people who need frequent transportation for medical purposes, such as dialysis, elder care, or therapy. It costs $85 to $110 per return trip.

Transport services, on the other hand, help ferry individuals such as the elderly or those who require the use of a wheelchair.

Here are the key differences between a public ambulance, a private ambulance, and transport services. The transport services selected are some of the most-established transport companies in Singapore.


Public Ambulance


Non-Emergency Private Ambulance


Transport Services


Number to Call



(or SMS 70995, a service specially catered for people who are deaf or have a speech impairment)




Singapore Red Cross: 6337 3333

Handicaps Welfare Association: 6254 3006

6460 9388

You can view the full list of transport services here.




Free for emergency cases


1-way transfer to A&E$120 (office hours), $150 (after office hours)

Discharge from hospital: $80 (office hours), $120 (after office hours)

Maternity-related cases: $200

Psychiatric-related cases: $300


Singapore Red Cross:

Round trip: $60 per pax (subsidies available)

Add $50/hour for the option of having a medical chaperone throughout the trip

Handicaps Welfare Association:

One-way: $35, Stair-crawl device costs $8.50 per use




Patients will be conveyed to the closest designated restructured hospitals. Ambulance personnel will not consider requests to redirect patients to alternative hospitals.



You will be able to choose which hospital you want to be taken to.


Upon confirming a booking, you will be able to choose your destination.

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Specialised Services Provided By Private Ambulances

Private ambulances offer specialised services such as ambulance transfers from hospitals to airports or seaports (and vice versa) for a cost of $200 without tarmac or $600 with tarmac.

Similarly, a Singapore to Johor Bahru Hospital ground transfer within one hour from the checkpoint clearance costs $400.

If you feel more comfortable with a staff nurse on board the ambulance, you will have to call 1777 to enquire on the cost. There will be a ventilator and monitoring equipment to fetch the patient from the hospital to home (and vice versa).

Read Also: Emergency Guide: What To Do When You Get In A Car Accident?

Use The Right Service For The Situation

Conserving public resources is critical to ensure that emergency cases are always prioritised. Using the services of a private ambulance or transport companies for frequent medical transportation will give great convenience.

If you know that your case is clearly a non-emergency, avoid calling an emergency ambulance. With that said, if you are unsure if your case is an emergency or non-emergency, you can contact the SCDF and explain your situation in detail, and they will advise you on the next step of action accordingly.

Read Also: What To Do If Your Credit, Debit or ATM Card Is Lost In Singapore?

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