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Sanctuary & Stronghold

The 20 stories in this book were written up after 1,200 minutes of interviews. They took place over six weeks, and each time, the interview commenced the same way:

‘How did your connection with SGH begin?’

For many, SGH is their first workplace. Memories go further back in time for those who had been students at the medical schools or at the School of Nursing. There were thus many moments of nostalgia as people, places and memorable experiences, long embedded inside hearts and minds, were recalled and shared. The history of Singapore’s oldest healthcare institution comes alive through the personal narratives of these 26 representatives. There is humility and generosity of spirit, especially towards patients. There is dedication and discipline to do what is needed to improve things.

These profiles offer reminders of how passion, courage and grit come from a profound sense of purpose. Despite differences in background and areas of work, there is common ground, much like the way different parts of an anatomy are united as one body.

Awareness of the wider community beyond the Hospital permeates most of the stories. Apart from the responsibilities of working in public healthcare, the reader will hear about the camaraderie on SGH Campus and across SingHealth, a key source of strength. The human voice is foregrounded with the interviewees quoted verbatim to allow their personalities to come through. During the interviews, masks obscured facial expressions, drawing attention to the manner of speaking, to tones and textures.

In retrospect, this chimes perfectly with the feature’s objective: to allow readers to encounter the spirit of SGH through the passionate voices of its people. Across SingHealth, one must surely encounter a plethora of many more recollections, reflections, and projections of future hopes and dreams, all of which cannot be encompassed by a mere book.

This book pays tribute to one and all who have worked and continue to work for the good of public healthcare. It is thanks to them that Singapore can be proud of their one and only Singapore General Hospital, the People’s Hospital, in this monumental year of its 200th anniversary.

All but one of the interviewees are presently staff at SingHealth and SGH.

Lee Seng Teik

The Beauty of the Bicentenary
Goh Meh Meh

Goh Meh Meh

The Human Touch

Ivy Ng Swee Lian

The Transformative Power of Healthcare

Terence Kee Yi Shern

Changed by Empathy

Esther Lim & Teo Gek Hoon

The Presenthood Of Patients

Ho Lai Yun

Caring For Patients Beyond The Ward

Chumpon Chantharakulpongsa

Reflections On Life & Neurosurgery

Tan Puay Hoon

A Passion For Pathology

Jenny Low & Shirin Kalimuddin

Allies in Life & Research

Tan Hiang Khoon

Making Time

Tan Loon Liang

The Chef of Wellness

Tan Geok Eng

Saying Yes to Challenges

Koh Tian Hai

Heartfelt Medicine

Peter Lee Lian Heng

Kindness in Action

Lim Swee Hia

Every Detail Counts

Lim Ewe Choon

Bringing Nature to the Hospital

Tess Teo & Kennedy Ng

Getting the Simple Things Right


Professor Ang Chong Lye
Professor Fong Kok Yong
Associate Professor Ng Wai Hoe


Yeo Wei Wei


The Press Room

​Editorial Committee

Jenny Ang
Angela Ng
Tan-Huang Shuo Mei
Jennifer Wee


AC Dominie LLP

Produced by

Pagesetters Services Pte Ltd for Singapore General Hospital, Singapore Health Services.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Singapore General Hospital, Singapore Health Services.

Support for this publication was provided by National Archives of Singapore and Preservation of Sites and Monuments, National Heritage Board, co-curator of SGH Museum.

National Library Board, Singapore Cataloguing in Publication Data


Yeo, Wei Wei, Ph. D.
Lee, Hsien Loong, author of foreword.
Singapore General Hospital, publisher.


Sanctuary & stronghold: SGH at 200
/ Yeo Wei Wei.


Singapore: Singapore General Hospital, [2021]
Foreword by PM Lee Hsien Loong.
Volume 1. The SGH story: 1821-2021 --
Volume 2. Purpose, passion, courage, grit.


OCN 1262092646
ISBN 978-981-18-1871-4
(paperback: volume 1)
ISBN 978-981-18-1872-1
(paperback: volume 2)


LCSH: Singapore General Hospital--History.
Singapore General Hospital--Employees--Interviews.

Classification:  DDC 362.11095957--dc23

ISBN:  978-981-18-1872-1