Physiotherapy for Kids: How Much Does it Cost in Singapore?

by | 7 Apr 2024 | Blog, physiotherapy

The early years of a child’s life are crucial for setting the foundation for lifelong health and well-being. Pediatric physiotherapy plays an instrumental role here, aiding in the development of motor skills, strength, and coordination in young ones.

From developmental delays to sports injuries, pediatric physiotherapy addresses a myriad of health issues. Understanding these conditions can help parents make informed decisions about their child’s health care needs.

What is pediatric hysiotherapy?

Pediatric physiotherapy, distinct from adult physiotherapy, focuses on the unique needs of children. It encompasses a variety of treatments aimed at enhancing physical function and mobility.

The goal of pediatric physiotherapy goes beyond mere treatment. It aims to empower
children to reach their highest potential in physical movement and function, enhancing their overall quality of life.

Types of treatments in pediatric physiotherapy

Conventional therapies

The bedrock of pediatric physiotherapy is its conventional therapies. These are time-tested methods that have consistently shown positive results in treating a variety of conditions.

  • Exercises: These are designed to improve strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance. The exercises are often fun and engaging, tailored to suit a child’s age and specific condition.
  • Stretches: These are critical in maintaining and improving muscle elasticity, which is especially important for growing children. Stretches help in preventing injuries and aid in the recovery process.
  • Manual Techniques: This encompasses a range of hands-on techniques, including massage and mobilization. These methods are used to alleviate pain, reduce swelling, and improve movement in affected body parts.

Innovative approaches

Singapore’s pediatric physiotherapy field is also pioneering innovative techniques, integrating new technologies and methods to enhance treatment effectiveness.

  • Sensory Integration Therapy: This therapy is particularly beneficial for children with sensory processing issues, often seen in conditions like autism spectrum disorder. It helps children process and respond to sensory information more effectively, improving their motor skills, coordination, and concentration.
  • Aquatic Therapy: Conducted in a pool, aquatic therapy uses the properties of water to provide a gentle and effective way of treating various conditions. The buoyancy of water reduces stress on the body, making it easier to perform exercises. It’s especially useful for children with muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and other neuromuscular conditions.

These innovative therapies, often used alongside conventional treatments, provide a holistic approach to pediatric physiotherapy. They open up new possibilities for treatment, making therapy more effective and engaging for children.

By exploring these facets of pediatric physiotherapy, parents and caregivers can make informed decisions, ensuring the best possible care for their child. The ultimate goal is to support the child’s health and development in a comprehensive, nurturing way.

Cost factors

Physiotherapy for children, a vital service in Singapore, requires careful financial planning. The costs vary, influenced by several factors. Let’s explore these aspects to better prepare for your child’s physiotherapy needs.

Determining the cost of pediatric hysiotherapy

The expense of pediatric physiotherapy hinges on multiple factors. Firstly, the condition being treated significantly influences the cost. More complex conditions requiring specialized treatment often incur higher costs. Secondly, the experience and qualifications of the physiotherapist play a role. Highly skilled therapists with extensive experience typically charge more for their expertise. Additionally, the frequency and duration of therapy sessions affect the overall cost. Longer, more frequent sessions tend to increase the total expense.

Session types and their costs

Choosing between individual and group sessions can impact the financial aspect of physiotherapy. Individual sessions, offering personalized attention, generally cost more than group sessions. However, the personalized approach in individual therapy often translates into more efficient treatment and quicker progress.

Individual vs group sessions

Individual therapy sessions, where the approach is specifically tailored to the child’s unique needs, are more effective for complex or specific conditions. The cost for individual sessions in clinics typically ranges from $110 to $300 per session. In contrast, group sessions are generally more cost-effective.

It’s important to note that group session costs can vary depending on the type of therapy and the clinic or service provider.

In-clinic vs home sessions

The setting of the physiotherapy sessions also plays a crucial role in determining costs. In-clinic sessions, where children visit a physiotherapy center, are typically less expensive than home sessions.

Home physiotherapy sessions can typically range from $310 – 370 per session. These sessions provide the convenience and comfort of receiving therapy in a familiar environment, which is particularly advantageous for children with severe conditions or mobility issues.

Though more costly, home therapy cuts out travel time and associated stress, offering a more relaxed environment for both child and parent.

When navigating the costs of pediatric physiotherapy in Singapore, it’s essential to consider these key factors. Weigh the benefits of each option against its costs to find the most suitable approach for your child’s needs. Remember, the investment in physiotherapy is not just financial; it’s an investment in your child’s health and future well-being.

Cost overview by clinics and hospitals

Navigating the landscape of pediatric physiotherapy in Singapore involves a careful look at the diverse options available, each with its unique cost implications. Understanding these can significantly aid in planning the best care for your child.

Overview of physiotherapy clinics in singapore

Physiotherapy clinics in Singapore offer a broad price range. Costs can vary depending on factors like the therapist’s expertise, the complexity of the treatment, and the clinic’s location. Typically, renowned clinics in central locations might charge more due to their accessibility and state-of-the-art facilities. On the other hand, smaller clinics in residential areas could offer more affordable rates, albeit with possibly fewer amenities.

Hospital-based pediatric physiotherapy

When it comes to hospital-based pediatric physiotherapy, the choice between government and private hospitals is significant. Government hospitals generally offer more budget-friendly options. They are subsidized, making them accessible to a broader segment of the population. However, one might face longer wait times and less individualized attention compared to private hospitals. Private hospitals, although more costly, tend to provide a more personalized service with shorter waiting periods and more luxurious facilities.

Specialised pediatric physiotherapy centers

Specialised centers are dedicated exclusively to pediatric physiotherapy. These establishments often offer unique therapies, such as aquatic therapy or sensory integration therapy, which are not commonly available in general clinics or hospitals. Such specialised treatments might be on the higher end of the price spectrum, but they bring the advantage of targeted therapies designed for specific pediatric needs. Parents seeking cutting-edge treatments or dealing with more complex conditions often find these centres well worth the investment.

For pediatric physiotherapy in Singapore, the costs can vary widely depending on the clinic and the specific services required. Generally, the price range for physiotherapy sessions in clinics falls between $120 to $300 per session. This range can be attributed to factors like the clinic’s location, the experience of the physiotherapist, and the complexity of the treatment required.

Navigating costs and making informed decisions

The cost of pediatric physiotherapy in Singapore varies widely based on several factors, including the type of provider, the location, and the specialization of services offered. By understanding these factors, parents can make informed decisions that balance quality care with financial considerations. It’s crucial to research and compare different options, keeping in mind both the immediate and long-term benefits of the chosen physiotherapy path for your child.

Using insurance for pediatric physiotherapy in Singapore

When it comes to insurance coverage for pediatric physiotherapy in Singapore, the landscape can be complex. Policies may vary depending on the insurer, but here are some general guidelines and limitations that are often observed:

  • Type of Coverage: Insurance policies might cover a range of physiotherapy services including initial assessments, follow-up sessions, and sometimes even specialized treatments.
  • Referral Requirements: Some insurance plans require a referral from a general practitioner or a pediatrician before they approve coverage for physiotherapy.
  • Cap on Sessions: Many insurance policies place a limit on the number of sessions they cover in a year.
  • Deductibles and Co-payments: Depending on the plan, parents may need to pay a deductible or a co-payment for each session.
  • Exclusions: Certain treatments or conditions might be excluded from coverage, necessitating a careful review of the policy details.
  • Pre-approval Process: For some treatments, insurers may require pre-approval, necessitating additional administrative steps.

Government subsidies and financial assistance

Singapore’s government offers subsidies and financial assistance for pediatric physiotherapy, making it accessible to a broader population. The eligibility for these programs often depends on factors like household income and the child’s medical needs. The application process for these subsidies is streamlined, but it requires due diligence in terms of documentation and adherence to deadlines. Being well-informed about these aids can significantly reduce the financial burden of pediatric physiotherapy.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Income-based: Subsidies are often scaled based on household income, with more substantial assistance available to lower-income families.
  • Medical Need: Eligibility can also depend on the child’s specific medical condition and the necessity of physiotherapy as a treatment.

Application process:

  • Documentation: Applicants typically need to submit relevant financial documents, medical records, and a doctor’s recommendation.
  • Means Testing: The process might include means testing to assess the financial status of the family.
  • Approval Timeframe: The time taken to process an application can vary; it’s prudent to apply well in advance of when the therapy is needed.

Types of assistance:

  • Direct Subsidies: Reduced rates for sessions at government hospitals or clinics.
  • Medisave Usage: Under certain conditions, parents can use Medisave funds to cover physiotherapy costs.
  • MediShield Life: This national health insurance plan might cover a portion of the costs, depending on the plan’s specifics.

Beyond the cost

When we consider physiotherapy, it’s vital to look beyond its immediate costs. This insightful journey uncovers the nuances of its effectiveness and the interplay between its long-term benefits and short-term costs.

Measuring the effectiveness of physiotherapy

The true measure of physiotherapy lies in its outcomes, which encompass a broad spectrum of physical and emotional dimensions.

The success of physiotherapy can be gauged through various indicators:

  • Physical Improvements: This includes enhanced mobility, reduced pain, and better overall physical function.
  • Emotional Well-being: Often overlooked, the emotional benefits like improved mood and reduced anxiety play a critical role.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Increased independence in daily activities and a return to hobbies or work are tangible markers of success.

Long-term benefits vs short-term costs

Weighing the immediate financial aspect against the prolonged advantages of physiotherapy provides a clearer perspective on its true value.

The initial cost of physiotherapy should be evaluated in light of its long-term returns:

  • Healthcare Savings: Regular physiotherapy can reduce the need for more invasive treatments, leading to lower healthcare costs in the long run.
  • Quality of Life: The enhanced quality of life and the ability to engage in daily activities without pain or restriction have immeasurable value.
  • Preventive Aspect: Physiotherapy also serves as a preventive measure, potentially averting future health complications and associated costs.

In sum, the value of physiotherapy extends far beyond its immediate costs. Its ability to improve life quality, reduce future health expenses, and offer lasting physical and emotional benefits makes it an invaluable investment in health and well-being.

Alternative therapies and their costs

When conventional physiotherapy is not the sole option, alternative therapies come into play. These might include methods like acupuncture, osteopathy, or chiropractic treatments.

The cost of these therapies can vary widely, often depending on the practitioner’s expertise and the treatment’s duration and frequency. Unlike traditional physiotherapy, which focuses on exercises and manual therapy, these alternatives often delve into different aspects of health and wellness. 

For example, acupuncture is known for its pain relief and stress reduction benefits, while chiropractic treatments focus on aligning the body’s musculoskeletal structure. These therapies can be used alongside conventional physiotherapy to provide a comprehensive treatment plan, or as standalone treatments in certain cases.

Supplementary exercises and home care

 Home exercises often require minimal to no equipment and can be seamlessly integrated into the child’s daily routine. These exercises are tailored to the child’s specific needs and are designed to be safe, engaging, and effective. By incorporating these practices, parents can actively participate in their child’s therapy process, fostering an environment conducive to recovery and development.

When considering physiotherapy for a child, it’s beneficial to explore and understand the various alternative therapies and supplementary exercises available. These options, each with their own cost implications, can be effectively combined with conventional physiotherapy to create a well-rounded, effective treatment plan that supports the child’s holistic well-being. 


Pediatric physiotherapy integrates both conventional therapies, such as exercises, stretches, and manual techniques, tailored to the child’s unique needs, and innovative approaches like sensory integration therapy and aquatic therapy. 

Recognising the challenges, such as navigating insurance and choosing treatments, is part of this commitment. However, the long-term benefits for a child’s health and happiness make this investment invaluable. Ultimately, pediatric physiotherapy in Singapore is not just about overcoming physical challenges; it’s about ensuring a fulfilling and active childhood for your child. 

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