Private Ambulances: Know Their Purpose and Benefits For You

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In the modern world, ambulances are now capable of providing transportation for medical emergencies and non-emergency cases to patients located far from medical facilities. They’re usually manned by professional medical personnel, such as paramedics and medical technicians. With this crew’s presence, medical aid can be immediately administered and continuously provided while patients are en route to the nearest hospital or emergency room.

As mentioned, ambulances can respond to both emergency and non-emergency cases. This division of concern also brought with it the classification of ambulances-public and private.

Learn more about the two types of ambulances in Singapore, their differences, as well as what constitutes a non-emergency case down below.

Public ambulances

These ambulances operate under the state, and in Singapore, it’s specifically handled by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), an emergency service of the Ministry of Home Affairs. They provide emergency medical services and transport free of charge for life-threatening emergencies. To reach them, one can call their hotline number 995.

Private ambulances

Given that about 10% of 995 calls are considered non-emergencies, the SCDF has decided to stop ferrying non-emergency cases and advises the populace to call the 1777 hotline number for such cases. In contrast to their public counterpart, private ambulances are owned by private corporations and employ a reservation business model. This private nature allows for extra flexibility regarding features and cost and, more often than not, convenient.

Emergency and non-emergency cases

To put it simply, if immediate medical aid for the illness or injury can mean life or death, then it’s counts as an emergency. Some examples include:

  • Severe allergies
  • Poisoning from toxic gases or drug abuse
  • Second to third-degree burns
  • Intense chest pains
  • Dislocated or broken bones
  • Serious head injuries
  • Injuries to vital areas such as the chest, abdomen, or spine
  • Difficulty in breathing

Non-emergency cases, on the other hand, encompass everyday ailments such as:

  • Common colds
  • Fever and coughs
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Slight abdominal pains
  • Chronic aches and bodily pains
  • Small cuts and bruises

Advantages of private ambulances for non-emergencies

There are several situations in which a private ambulance is needed for non-emergencies, such as:

  • Public ambulances in Singapore are now only reserved for life-threatening emergencies. A private ambulance can offer convenience and comfort at a flexible cost and feature set for less intense ailments such as minor bruises and cuts, burns, and chronic pain.
  • There are often ill patients who are in no condition to go to a nearby hospital themselves or have no one to go with them. By booking a private ambulance service, they can get the support they need all by themselves.
  • Public ambulances will take patients to the nearest designated restructured hospitals by default and won’t consider any requests to redirect to the patient’s preferred hospital. If the patient is already receiving treatment from a preferred hospital, then private ambulances can cater to their request of being redirected there.
  • Corporate entities often hold important events and, as a precautionary measure, may want to keep an ambulance or two on standby for emergency cases. Private ambulance services can provide for their needs and offer bookings tailored to their requirements.


The introduction of private ambulances in Singapore saves valuable time and resources for emergency medical services. If you ever need to book one for your medical needs, a private ambulance is just a few clicks away with MyCLNQ app. From booking a private ambulance to seeing a doctor online, you can get all your medical needs in Singapore’s leading telehealth app.

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