National University Health System

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The National University Health System (NUHS) (Chinese: 国立大学医学组织 ; pinyin: guŏ lì dà xue yī xue zǔ zhī; Malay: Sistem Kesihatan Universiti Kebangsaan) is an integrated Academic Health System and Regional Health System located in Singapore that delivers value-driven, innovative and sustainable healthcare. It was established in January 2008 as a joint venture between the National University of Singapore and Singapore's MOH Holdings Pte Ltd. in Singapore. At NUHS, we leverage our unique position as an academic health system to tap on the wealth of resources residing within the whole of the National University of Singapore (NUS). Through collaborations with NUS faculties, we are able to draw upon their academic, research and creative capabilities to develop solutions for existing and emerging health and healthcare needs of the Singapore population. Throughout the history of our institutions, our staff have worked across the health system to advance the tripartite missions of achieving clinical excellence, developing the next generation of healthcare professionals, and changing the natural history of chronic diseases through research. As part of our regional health system responsibility, we work in close collaboration with community hospitals, general practitioners, family medicine clinics, nursing homes and other community and social partners to provide integrated care to the community.

Institutions in the NUHS group include three hospitals - National University Hospital (NUH), Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) and Jurong Community Hospital (JCH); three National Specialty Centres - National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS), National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS) and National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore (NUCOHS)a polyclinic group - the National University Polyclinics (NUP)one medical centre – Jurong Medical Centre; and three academic health sciences institutions – NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (including the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies), NUS Faculty of Dentistry and NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health.

With member institutions under one academic health system, NUHS creates synergies as a fully integrated cluster to provide seamless care from prevention to home care, and with our academic institutions, to continue to develop solutions for Singapore’s healthcare challenges, and nurture the next generation of healthcare professionals.

History[edit]

The idea of a common governance structure first came about when Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan headed the National University Hospital. However, the idea was only revived some 20 years later after the Biomedical Sciences International Advisory Panel recommended that Singapore develop one or two strong academic medical centres to advance translational and clinical research. On 23 January 2008, the NUHS was incorporated.

With the January 2017 reorganisation of Singapore’s healthcare clusters into three integrated clusters, NUHS now works closely with its entities across multiple campuses to provide more integrated and seamless care and to enhance affordability of healthcare for residents in the Western region.

Location[edit]

The corporate office of the NUHS is currently located at 1E Kent Ridge Road, NUHS Tower Block, Singapore 119228.

Components[edit]

The NUHS consists of the following main components:

Acute and community hospitals

National Specialty Centres

Polyclinics

Medical Centre

Academic health sciences institutions

Specialty centres and institutions[edit]

In addition to the National University Hospital and the National University of Singapore's Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Faculty of Dentistry and the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, the NUHS also has oversight of a few specialized medical institutions. The National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS), is a key centre for the treatment and management of complex cardiovascular diseases with focus areas on heart failure, congenital heart disease, acute coronary syndrome and vascular disease. The National University Cancer Institute, Singapore, (NCIS) offers a broad spectrum of cancer care and management that ranges from public education, screening and early diagnosis, to treatment and long-term health maintenance. The Khoo Teck Puat Advanced Surgery Training Centre (ASTC) is the first one-stop training centre in Southeast Asia to equip surgeons from the region, the Middle East, and Europe, with the latest skills.

Objectives[edit]

The NUHS' tripartite mission is the pursuit of excellence in the areas of clinical care, research and education:

Clinical Care: Besides providing tertiary education for medical students, medically trained education professionals also work as medical practitioners in the National University Hospital. The NUHS provides a total of 25 medical specialties, including 6 dental specialties. They are:

Since its formation, the NUHS has pioneered a number of medical breakthroughs. This includes performing the first gynaecologic robot-assisted cancer and endoscopic surgery in South East Asia.[1]

Research: The NUHS' research focus includes cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, neurocognition and infectious diseases. In 2008, an NUHS research team discovered RUNX3, a gatekeeper gene which prevents the uncontrolled growth of cells leading to colorectal cancers.[2] Colorectal cancer is ranked as the No. 1 killer in Singapore.

Education: One of the main aims of the NUHS is to provide education for Singapore's medical students. The NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine currently offers two full-time undergraduate programmes, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B., B.S) and Bachelor of Science (Nursing), which is conducted by the Alice Lee School of Nursing Studies.

In line with its mission to combine education with research, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine students are able to conduct undergraduate research under the supervision of the School's staff. This is done through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme.

The NUHS depends heavily on external funding for most of its research projects. To date, the NUHS has won several major research grants, including the S$25m Translational and Clinical Research Flagship programmes on the study of gastric cancer as well as metabolic diseases (diabetes and obesity). The grants are funded by the National Research Foundation.

Corporate management[edit]

Since its incorporation, the NUHS was headed by Professor Tan Chorh Chuan as Chief Executive. In December 2008, neurologist and academic Associate Professor Benjamin Ong took the helm and succeeded Professor Tan in view of the latter's appointment as President of the National University of Singapore. Internationally renowned medical oncologist and academic Professor John Wong took on the appointment of Deputy Chief Executive of the NUHS.[4]

After five years at the helm, Associate Professor Benjamin Ong stepped down as Chief Executive in January 2014 and was appointed Director of Medical Services at the Ministry of Health. Taking over from him as the new Chief Executive of the NUHS was its current Deputy Chief Executive, Professor John Wong. Associate Professor Yeoh Khay Guan was then appointed as Deputy Chief Executive, NUHS, while keeping his current position as the Dean of the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.

In April 2015, the NUHS announced the appointments of Associate Professor Yeoh Khay Guan as Deputy Chief Executive (Academic Enterprise) and Adjunct Associate Professor Joe Sim as Deputy Chief Executive (Clinical Enterprise). The two new senior appointments are to enable the organisation to forge ahead with great vision and energy as an Academic Health System, characterised by its excellence in healthcare delivery, education and research.

References[edit]