They came in droves – Indonesians, Thais and Malaysians – to receive quality medical treatment in Singapore’s private hospitals.
But 15 years on, Singapore’s ambitions to become a healthcare hub appear to be receding quietly.
The region’s well-heeled medical tourists are looking elsewhere for treatment, meaning that local players have had to extend their reach abroad.
Last year, the board stopped providing the figure. Instead, medical tourism was placed under a generic category called Others, which includes money tourists spend on local transport, education and business. This stood at $5.8 billion last year.