SGH has undergone numerous transformations since it was established.
The Bowyer Block, which is partially preserved, underscores the evolution of SGH from humble beginnings to being Singapore's largest hospital today.
Gazetted as a national monument in 2009, it is a testament to Singapore healthcare's British roots as well as healthcare's significant contribution to the nation. While the British laid principles and standards for military-type healthcare and provided the earliest medical professionals, the post-war and post-independent years saw Singaporeans contributing to healthcare and its infrastructural development, keeping pace with the world.
In 2016, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong unveiled the SGH Campus masterplan for Singapore's largest healthcare hub. Designed to meet the nation's future healthcare needs, this 43-hectare site will see an upgraded revitalised SGH.
In 2021, SGH was ranked among the top 10 best hospitals in the world for the third consecutive year by Newsweek.
SGH is now a 1,800-bedded facility, with over 10,000 healthcare workers catering to the needs of over 1 million patients annually. It is also a teaching hospital and a nodal point for clinical research.
"While we upgrade, we will where possible also preserve or re-purpose some of our old buildings to remind us of our heritage."
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the occasion of SGH Campus's Master Plan launch, 6 February 2016.
A MONUMENTAL JOURNEY
Over the years, modern and taller national centres may have sprouted all around the Clock Tower, but Bowyer Block continues to stand tall. It is a quiet sentinel testifying to the resilience of SGH through the years, faithfully keeping time through the fearful silence of each wave of health crises.
A monument bearing testimony to the dedication and commitment to generations of healthcare SGH-ians, SGH remains a not-for-profit institution and is the flagship hospital of the public healthcare system under the SingHealth cluster of institutions.
"Over the years, we have developed and expanded SGH. In the old days, we had open wards, and long corridors linked with different parts of the hospitals. Patients found their way around by following coloured lines painted on the ground along the corridors. Some of you may remember that. So you tell a patient, "Follow the red line", it will go to Orthopaedic, the "Blue line", it will go to surgery, whatever. Because many of the patients were illiterate, and therefore, it was the simplest way to get them around. Hopefully, if you had followed the line conscientiously, you would go to the right place".
Anecdote by PM about how coloured lines guided illiterate patients down the corridors - artwork