Singapore, 29 March 2021 — From the beriberi disease in the 1890s, Spanish flu outbreak in 1918, and later the Japanese air raids during war, racial riots, explosion of Greek oil tanker Spyros, to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore General Hospital (SGH) has always been here, caring for the nation.
SGH was just a shed in the British cantonment area established in 1821, two years after the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles. Today, 200 years later, the Hospital cares for about 1 million patients yearly, and has been ranked among the top 10 best hospitals in the world for three consecutive years. SGH is an Academic Medical Centre where teaching and research take place to advance patient care and to ensure future generations of healthcare professionals are even better.
Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance, delivered a speech at SGH's bicentennial celebration named Rooted in Excellence on Monday, 29 March 2021. It was held at SGH's new Bicentennial Garden which DPM Heng officially opened by planting a tree to signify laying down roots for the future growth of SGH. He was joined by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, and senior leaders from SingHealth and SGH.
The Bicentennial Garden is adjacent to the iconic Bowyer Block, a national monument. Bowyer Block is the only remaining block of the Hospital that was opened on the very same date back in 1926.
"We have journeyed, and will continue to journey with the nation, through good times and tough ones. What we have achieved did not happen by chance. It is the result of visionary pioneers, upon whose shoulders we now stand, and dedicated colleagues who are anchored by our values and a strong sense of purpose," said Professor Kenneth Kwek, Chief Executive Officer, SGH.
"We share in the belief that our patients, regardless of their station in society, should have access to excellent care that matters most to them. As the current custodians in SGH, it is our responsibility to reimagine and define tomorrow's medicine so that SGH will continue to be the beacon of hope for Singaporeans."
Due to the pandemic, Rooted in Excellence took on a hybrid approach, consisting of an in-person event for 30 guests, as well as a virtual component that allowed over 1,000 guests and colleagues to join the celebrations online.
At the same time, the Hospital launched #SGHOneKindAct, a social movement to champion acts of kindness to all. Every staff is encouraged to perform kind acts, big or small, for colleagues, patients, loved ones and/or the community.
To round off the celebration, invited guests were given a special preview of the revamped SGH Museum located at the Bowyer Block, to learn about the illustrious story of SGH, and its people. The exhibition in the walkthrough Museum, which will be opened to the public by end April 2021, is co-curated by SGH and the Preservation of Sites and Monuments under National Heritage Board.
The central corridor through the Museum linking SGH main buildings to the Diabetes and Metabolism Centre (DMC), formerly Mistri Wing, will be reopened.
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