National University Hospital



Established in 1985, National University Hospital (NUH) is a tertiary hospital and a major referral centre for a comprehensive range of medical, surgical and dental conditions.1 It also serves as the main teaching hospital for the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and the NUS Faculty of Dentistry.2

History
NUH opened to the public and received its first patients on 24 June 1985.3 The hospital was officially opened on 17 June 1986 by then First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Goh Chok Tong.4 Designed by YRM & MSJ Architects in association with Singapore Associate Architects and Indeco, the hospital was intended to be a general hospital with proper areas for clinical teaching.5 It is the first government-owned hospital to be run autonomously.6


The hospital was originally owned by Temasek Holdings, a government investment holding company. It came under the Ministry of Health's Health Corporation of Singapore (HCS) in 1987. In 1990, the government decided to transfer the governance of the hospital to NUS. This was in line with the government's objective of making NUH the principal medical teaching institution of Singapore and a centre for medical excellence.7

In order to avoid duplication of costly services, the government decided to make highly specialised units available at only two hospitals: Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and NUH. All other hospitals were to house only general speciality departments.8 Since NUH was too large a financial operation to be transferred entirely at one go, the hospital first reverted back to Temasek Holdings before being transferred to NUS in phases.9 The move also resulted in expansion plans, and the hospital added a 200-bed tower ward block, eight operating theatres and an expanded intensive care unit suite at a cost of S$100 million.10 At the same time, a new fees scheme was introduced for senior doctors at the hospital in order to place more weightage on teaching and research.11

In 2008, the hospital came under the governance of the National University Health System, a new joint venture between the National Healthcare Group and NUS.12 
 
Description and facilities
NUH is today a 1,250-bed tertiary hospital, and a major referral centre for a comprehensive range of medical, surgical and dental conditions.13 In 2000, the hospital set up an Internet portal, www.netCare.com.sg. The portal provided patients and doctors with instant access to patients' medical history and reports. Patients who registered at the portal could also check, make or change their medical appointment dates online, or be reminded of their appointments via e-mail or short messages on the mobile phone.14

In 2007, NUH was chosen by the Ministry of Health to set up two new national specialist centres, the National University Cancer Institute Singapore (NCIS) and the National University Heart Centre Singapore (NUHCS) to meet the increasing demand for cancer and heart treatments. Both centres are housed within the premises of NUH.15 NCIS and NUHS were officially launched in 2010 and 2011 respectively.16

In 2013, the Ronald McDonald House at NUH was opened to provide respite for families whose ill children are receiving medical treatment at the hospital.17 A partnership between Ronald McDonald House Charities Singapore and NUH’s paediatric department, the house has four ensuite bedrooms, reading room, living room, dining room, laundry area and kitchen.18 A new Ronald McDonald Family Room opened in 2016 as part of NUH’s expansion plan for its Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. The family room can house 14 persons at any one time.19

In 2014, the NUH Medical Centre was officially opened by Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong. Located above the Kent Ridge MRT station, the 19-storey medical centre houses mainly specialist outpatient clinics and day surgery operating theatres. The centre was completed in 2013 and began operations in July the same year.20

In 2016, the NUH Sports Centre was officially opened by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu. Located within NUH, the multi-disciplinary centre provides integrated care for sports and exercise-related medical conditions for professionals and amateur athletes. The centre, which began operations in July 2015, is the fourth sports medicine facility in Singapore.21
Selected milestones
1985: Begins taking in patients.22
1986: Officially opens.23
1988: First hospital in Southeast Asia to establish an Orthopaedic Diagnostic Centre/First hospital in Singapore to offer ambulatory care facility for cancer patients.24
1989: Delivers the world's first baby conceived by a unique technique called Micro-Insemination Sperm Transfer (MIST).25
1990: Develops the world's first software programme for colour vision testing/First in Asia to successfully treat a patient with a new procedure called Atherectomy/Successfully performs the first liver transplant in Singapore/Becomes the world's first to achieve an artificial womb pregnancy.26
1991: First hospital in Singapore to start a programme to help patients cope with stress at its Stress Clinic/First hospital in Asia-Pacific to integrate inpatient, outpatient and emergency modules/Carries out the world's first successful birth of twins from a "laboratory womb" using a Co-culture system.27
1993: First hospital in Southeast Asia to use a High Resolution Image Net System to perform on the spot fluorescein and indocyanine-green angiography/First hospital in Asia to help a woman with Turner's Syndrome conceive.28
1995: First hospital in Singapore to perform a Paediatric Cadaveric Transplant/Makes the region's first allergy testing services available for local pollen, ferns and fungal spores/performs the region's first Digital Replantation Surgery under local anaesthesia/Performs Singapore's first liver transplant using a reduced graft/ First in Asia to perform a Purified Stem Cell Rescue/First hospital in the region to perform a minimally invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery.29
1996: Delivers the region's first set of twins from frozen embryo donations/Performs Singapore's first living-related liver transplant/Performs the first cross-hand transplantation in the region.30
1997: Performs the first "split liver" transplant in Southeast Asia/First in Asia to perform an open heart surgery on a “beating heart”.31
2001: Together with SGH, successfully performs the world's first successful cord blood transplant on a Thalassaemia Major patient.32
2002: First hospital to achieve triple ISO certifications – ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems) and ISO 18001 (Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems).33
2003: Achieves first Gold Award at the Singapore H.E.A.L.T.H Award for outstanding workplace health practices.34
2004: First hospital in Singapore to receive the Joint Commission International accreditation, an international stamp for excellent clinical practices in patient care and safety.35

2005: Performs the first hip resurfacing procedure in Singapore/Organises the first NUH Kidney Day to increase awareness of chronic kidney disease risks and prevention.36
2006: Performs the first bilateral cochlear implantations on a ten-month old baby who was born with almost profound hearing loss.37
2007: Sets up two new national specialist centres: National University Cancer Institute Singapore (NCIS) and National University Heart Centre Singapore (NUHCS) to meet the increasing demand for cancer and heart treatments.38
2008: First hospital in Singapore to achieve certification under the revised ISO18001:2007 standard; was re-certified with ISO9001:2000 and ISO14001:2004 standards.39
2009: Opens the NUH Eye Centre @ Biopolis which provides eye care services for patients.40
2010: Performs Singapore’s first double organ transplant (liver and kidney) for a teenager.41
2011: Opens the Centre for Reproductive Education and Specialist Training (CREST), Asia Pacific’s first dedicated fertility training centre.42
2012:
Performs Singapore’s first simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant.43

2013: First baby-friendly hospital in Singapore certified by the World Health Organisation and United Nations Children’s Fund.44
2014: First hospital in Singapore to fully implement a human waste disposal system/Opens the NUH Medical Centre.45
2015: Celebrates its 30th anniversary.46
2016: Opens the Ronald McDonald Family Room and NUH Sports Centre.47



Author
Naidu RatnalaThulaja



References
1.
National University Hospital. (2010). Overview: National University Hospital. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/overview.html
2. Tie-up to run NUH, schools. (2008, February 28). The Straits Times, p. 33. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; National University Hospital. (2010). Overview: National University Hospital. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/overview.html
3. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 1985. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/1985.html
4. Wee, A., & Kong, S. C. (1986, June 18). Health care: 2 vital areas. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Edwards, N., & Keys, P. (1988). Singapore: A guide to buildings, streets, places. Singapore: Times Books International, p. 321. (Call no.: RSING 915.957 EDW-[TRA])
6. Wee, A., & Kong, S. C. (1986, June 18). Health care: 2 vital areas. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Varsity to take over running of NUH. (1990, March 28). The Straits Times, p. 1; Teo, A. (1990, May 3). NUH to be teaching hospitalThe Business Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. NUS to govern university hospital. (1990, March 28). The Business Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Teo, A. (1990, May 3). NUH to be teaching hospitalThe Business Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. Teo, A. (1990, May 3). NUH to be teaching hospitalThe Business Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. New fees scheme introduced for senior doctors at NUH. (1990, May 3). The Straits Times, p. 23. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Tie-up to run NUH, schools. (2008, February 28). The Straits Times, p. 33. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
13. National University Hospital. (2010). Overview: Quick facts about NUH. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/overview/quick-facts-about-nuh.html; National University Hospital. (2010). Overview: National University Hospital. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/overview.html
14. Personal health data at your fingertips. (2000, July 6). The Straits Times, p. 33. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15. Salma Khalik. (2007, August 27). NUH to house, new heart, cancer centres. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2010. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2010.html; National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2011. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2011.html
17. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2013. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2013.html
18. McDonald’s Corporation. (n.d.). Ronald McDonald House at National University Hospital. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from Ronald McDonald House Charities Singapore website: http://rmhc.org.sg/index.php/what-we-do/ronald-mcdonald-house-at-national-university-hospital/
19. McDonald’s Corporation. (n.d.). Ronald McDonald Family Room at National University Hospital. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from Ronald McDonald House Charities Singapore website: http://rmhc.org.sg/index.php/what-we-do/ronald-mcdonald-family-room/
20. Lai, L. (2014, April 22). One-stop care at new NUH Medical Centre. The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
21. Wong, A. (2016, January 22). NUH Sports Centre set to serve 10,000 patients a year. Today. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/; National University Hospital. (2016, January 22). New NUH Sports Centre to meet increasing demand for sports medicine services. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/wbn/slot/news/ah05/b020376b9_4536.pdf
22. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 1985. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/1985.html
23. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 1986. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/1986.html
24. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 1988. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/1988.html
25. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 1989. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/1989.html
26. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 1990. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/1990.html; Toh, S. (1990, September 6). NUH scores a first with artificial womb pregnancyThe Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
27. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 1991. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/1991.html; Koh, J. T. (1991, May 3). World's first births from 'lab womb' achieved in S'poreThe Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
28. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 1993. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/1993.html; Loh, S. (1993, June 30). First in Asia; pregnant without ovariesThe Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
29. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 1995. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/1995.html
30. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 1996. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/1996.html
31. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 1997. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/1997.html
32. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2001. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2001.html
33. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2002. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2002.html
34. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2003. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2003.html
35. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2004. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2004.html
36. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2005. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2005.html
37. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2006. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2006.html
38. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2007. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2007.html
39. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2008. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2008.html
40. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2009. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2009.html
41. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2010. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2010.html
42. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2011. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2011.html
43. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2012. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2012.html
44. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2013. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2013.html; National University Hospital. (2013, September 3). NUH is Singapore’s first BFHI-certified hospital. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/wbn/slot/u3007/PR_NUH%20BFHI_3%20Sep.pdf
45. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2014. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2014.html
46. National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2015. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2015.html
47. McDonald’s Corporation. (n.d.). Ronald McDonald Family Room at National University Hospital. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from Ronald McDonald House Charities Singapore website: http://rmhc.org.sg/index.php/what-we-do/ronald-mcdonald-family-room/; National University Hospital. (2010). Milestones 2016. Retrieved 2017, June 2 from National University Hospital website: https://www.nuh.com.sg/about-us/milestones/2016.html



The information in this article is valid as at 2017 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Hospitals--Singapore
Public health
Public buildings
University hospitals--Singapore
Politics and Government>>Health
Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Public Buildings
Health and medicine>>Health services