03 Apr 2008
Appointment comes as SGH aims to link up with overseas centres in R&D push.
By Judith Tan
A renowned eye specialist has been named the new captain of the Singapore General Hospital (SGH), an appointment that comes as the SingHealth flagship looks to delve further into research and development.
Professor Ang Chong Lye, a 53-year-old ophthalmologist, will take over as SGH’s chief executive officer from May 1, the hospital told The Straits Times.
Prof Ang is currently medical director of the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC). He will take over from Professor Tan Ser Kiat, 62.
Prof Tan relinquishes his seat after almost five years at the helm of SGH, but will remain as group CEO of SingHealth – one of the country’s two clusters of public health-care institutions.
Prof Ang, who was on his way to an international conference in the United States, told The Straits Times that he is excited by the opportunity to lead SGH – a position he called challenging.
It comes at a time when SGH is looking to join forces with specialist centres and universities aboard in a bid to reinvent itself.
The hospital “will be working… to provide positive spin-offs in medical education, biomedical research, and grooming the next generation of health-care providers”, said Prof Ang.
In a telephone interview with The Straits Times, Prof Tan said Prof Ang was picked as his successor because he “has a tremendous track record”, having turned the SNEC into a world-class specialist eye centre.
The centre has recently adapted a cornea transplant technique that does not require removal of a patient’s entire cornea – reducing the risk of rejection and complications, and improving recovery time.
“We have entered a new period of growth where SGH will be working with other specialist centres here and abroad to marry service, research and education,” Prof Tan said.
“I believe there is a need for a dedicated hospital CEO to lead this. Chong Lye is the right person to pass the baton to.”
Prof Tan said that as a tertiary hospital, SGH is heading in a “similar” direction as the National University Hospital (NUH), which recently merged with the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) school of medicine. The NUS-NUH centre is modeled after teaching hospitals in the US.
However, he said SGH is “looking for a model that will integrate clinical services, research and education and provide patients with a holistic rather than piecemeal health care”.
Prof Tan also said that search for his successor began on the day he took office five years ago.
Doctors at SGH called Prof Ang “a good man”, “a good doctor” and “very loyal”.
Taking over SNEC’s directorship from Prof Ang is his colleague, Professor Donald Tan, who is SNEC’s deputy medical director and also runs the Singapore Eye Research Institute.
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