National University Hospital

The National University Hospital (Abbreviation: NUH) was established in 1985 and it serves as a tertiary hospital, clinical training centre and research centre for the medical and dental faculties of the National University of Singapore (NUS).

National University Hospital
Hospital Universiti Nasional Singapura  (Malay)
国立大学医院 (Chinese)
தேசிய பல்கலைக்கழக மருத்துவமனை (Tamil)
National University Health System
Location5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119074, Singapore
Hospital typeTeaching
Affiliated universityYong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS
Founded24 June 1985 (1985-06-24)
Other linksList of hospitals in Singapore

A member of the National University Health System, it is the principal teaching hospital for the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. It is a 1,160-bed tertiary hospital serving more than 670,000 outpatients and 49,000 inpatients, also sharing its grounds with three national specialty centres, namely the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS), the National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS) and the National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore (NUCOHS).


NUH was originally known as the Kent Ridge Hospital according to its proposal as early as 1972, with a second plan drawn in 1975 by the then-University of Singapore Development Unit, when the hospital was planned at the Kent Ridge area, which actually costs $193 million to build, with an initial projection of 752 beds and a cost of $143 million. Construction began in 1980 and the entire project was completed at the end of 1984. NUH was the first privately run, government-owned hospital under the owner and managed by Temasek Holdings.

NUH received its new staff on 15 January 1985 (on the same day itself, Kent Ridge Hospital was renamed to NUH) and opened to the public and received its first patients on 24 June 1985, with the opening of two departments namely the Department of Medicine and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. The hospital was officially opened on 17 June 1986 by Goh Chok Tong, then First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence. Prior to its opening, clinical training for the students of NUS were carried out at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH), where the university's medical school was located until it moved to the new NUS campus at Kent Ridge in 1986.

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 hand over the governance of the hospital to the National University of Singapore (NUS).[1] This was in tune with the government's idea of making NUH the principal medical teaching institution of Singapore.[2] In order to avoid duplication of services, the government decided to make highly specialised units available at only two places, SGH and NUH. All other hospitals were to house general specialty departments only. Since NUH was too large a financial operation to be transferred entirely in one go, the hospital first reverted to Temasek Holdings before being transferred to NUS in phases. The hospital added in a 200-bed, seven-storey tower ward block, eight operating theatres, and intensive care units over an area of 3.2 ha at a cost of S$100 million.

NUH was conferred the Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation in August 2004 and the Singapore Service Class award in July 2004. It also received a triple ISO certification:[3]

In August 2007, Minister for Health Khaw Boon Wan announced plans to build two new national centres at NUH for heart and cancer treatments, the top two medical killers. The National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS) announced its plans during a press conference on 2 December 2008 to improve its care and treatment for patients. This will be done by scoping patient care and the delivery of clinical services into four systematic, holistic, and phased programmes:

In January 2008, NUH and the National University of Singapore's Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Faculty of Dentistry came together to form the National University Health System. This will help meet the healthcare needs as it brings about synergy that will be achieved from the integration of education, and clinical care. Plans on the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) was announced in 2009. To meet the increase and anticipated upward trend in healthcare demand, the infrastructure on the Kent Ridge campus will be developed to include extensive research and education facilities to be housed in the NUHS flagship Centre for Translational Medicine building, and two national centres for Cancer and Cardiovascular medicine at the NUH site.

In April 2014, the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) moved into the NUH Medical Centre, providing one-stop holistic and comprehensive care, management and treatment for both adult and paediatric oncology patients. Covering over 13,000 square metres and occupying levels 8, 9 and 10, the NCIS is housed alongside other outpatient medical specialisations at the NUH Medical Centre and is a one-stop centre in the prevention, management and treatment of cancer.

In January 2013, the NCIS and JurongHealth signed a Memorandum of Understanding known as the Western Cancer Action Network - WCAN to develop a plan that will lead to the provision of cancer care for people living in the western half of Singapore.

Location and infrastructure

Built in 1985, NUH's main building and service block are situated in a north-south orientation and conveniently linked by a service and communications "spine". The designers separated the "service tunnel" from the pedestrian levels, taking advantage of the slope. The blocks respond to the tropical climate with recessed windows, verandahs, and concrete sun shades. Shady courtyards that act as reservoirs of cool air enhance cross-ventilation in the non-air-conditioned interiors.

Kent Ridge Wing 2 was completed in 1996. It comprises an inpatient wing and also houses specialist outpatient clinics and service centres.

Operational since July 2013, the 19-storey NUH Medical Centre is the hospital's newest outpatient facility to serve primarily subsidised patients. Located directly above the Kent Ridge MRT station and designed with patients in mind, it brings about greater accessibility and convenience especially for elderly patients. Buildings are linked by bridges.

National specialty centres

National University Cancer Institute, Singapore

The National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) is a national specialty centre and the only public cancer centre in Singapore treating both paediatric and adult cancers in one facility. The 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. These span across blood cancers and blood disorders, breast, colorectal, gynaecological, head and neck, liver, pancreatic and biliary, thoracic, urologic, upper gastrointestinal, paediatric haematological malignancies, brain and musculoskeletal cancers. The NCIS houses multidisciplinary tumour groups including but not limited to the Division of Surgical Oncology, the Department of HaematologyOncology and the Department of Radiation Oncology.

National University Heart Centre, Singapore

The National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS), provides treatment and management of complex cardiovascular diseases with focus areas on heart failure, congenital heart disease, acute coronary syndrome, and vascular disease.

National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore

The National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore (NUCOHS) brings together NUH's University Dental Cluster (UDC) and NUS's Faculty of Dentistry (FOD) as a national specialty centre for specialist oral healthcare services.


A Class A single bedded room in a general ward in 2016 costs S$420 a night, with deluxe rooms in the same ward S$550. The estimated 90th percentile bill size for cataract day surgery for private patients is S$6,598.[4]


  1. "Varsity to take over running of NUH". The Straits Times. 28 March 1990. Retrieved 23 July 2019 via NewspaperSG.
  2. Teo, A (3 May 1990). "NUH to be teaching hospital; changes will not affect staff, operations". Business Times. p. 2. Retrieved 23 July 2019 via NewspaperSG.
  3. "NUH Has Achieved JCI Re-Accreditation!". National University Hospital. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  4. "The rise of 5-star hospitals in Singapore". Today on line. 8 March 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  • Norman Edwards, Peter Keys (1996). Singapore: a guide to buildings, streets, places. Times Books International. p. 321. ISBN 978-981-204-781-6.
  • Koh, J. T. (May 3, 1991). "World's first births from 'lab womb' achieved in S'pore". The Straits Times. p. 1.
  • Loh, S. (June 30, 1993). "First in Asia; Pregnant without ovaries". The Straits Times. pp. Life! pages 1–2.
  • "New fees scheme introduced for senior doctors at NUH". The Straits Times. May 3, 1990. p. 23.
  • "NUS to govern university hospital". The Business Times. March 28, 1990. p. 2.
  • "The Straits Times". July 6, 2000. p. 33.
  • Toh, S. (September 6, 1990). "NUH scores a first with artificial womb pregnancy". The Straits Times. p. 1.
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