SGH had its beginnings in 1821, when the first General Hospital was located in the cantonment for troops near the Singapore River. After relocating several times, it finally settled at Sepoy Lines in Outram Road in 1882.
The modern history of SGH began on 29 March 1926, with the opening of 800 beds in the Bowyer, Stanley and Norris Blocks. Today, only the Bowyer Block with its distinctive clock tower remains. It has been designated a national monument.
In 1981, the hospital was rebuilt, with its current 8-block complex housing inpatient wards, ambulatory and support services, as well as research laboratories and a postgraduate medical institute.
On 1 April 1989, SGH became a restructured hospital - run as a private company while remaining a not-for-profit institution wholly owned by the government. This was part of the government’s initiative to enable all public hospitals to be more responsive to the rapid pace of change in healthcare services and patient expectations for better service. To ensure access to affordable healthcare, two thirds of the beds in SGH are allocated to patients who receive subsidies from the government for medical services.
On 31 March 2000, following a major reorganisation of the public sector healthcare services, SGH came under the management of Singapore Health Services or SingHealth. The Group includes 1 other hospital, 5 National Specialty Centres and 9 Polyclinics.