NUS president Tan Chorh Chuan to be Singapore's first Chief Health Scientist

NUS president Tan Chorh Chuan to be Singapore's first Chief Health Scientist

Tan Chorh Chuan
File photo of Professor Tan Chorh Chuan. (Photo: NUS)

SINGAPORE: National University of Singapore (NUS) President Tan Chorh Chuan is to be appointed the first Chief Health Scientist by the Ministry of Health (MOH) from Jan 1 next year.

Professor Tan will concurrently serve as executive director of the new Office for Healthcare Transformation, MOH said in a press release on Monday (Sep 4).

"As the founding executive director, Professor Tan will establish and lead MOH’s Office for Healthcare Transformation. The Office will play an important role in the transformation of healthcare in Singapore to bring about good health outcomes for Singaporeans," the ministry said.

The Office will identify and test-bed game-changing concepts and models to enhance patient care and ensure that it is cost effective and sustainable, MOH said.


Professor Tan's role as Chief Health Scientist is new. In that capacity, he is expected to "guide the ministry’s research and development agenda, particularly in the health and biomedical sciences".

"He will strengthen the translation of research to develop better ways to manage and treat diseases and deliver clinical care," MOH said.

Together with MOH’s National Medical Research Council, Professor Tan will also guide efforts to discover new knowledge on health and disease, novel therapies and more effective diagnostics, MOH said.

Professor Tan is also expected to work closely with healthcare clusters, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Economic Development Board, National Research Foundation, SPRING Singapore, as well as the health and biomedical industry.

Commenting on his new appointments, Professor Tan said the concurrent appointments will be "highly synergistic".

“I am now deeply honoured to have this rare opportunity to contribute to the transformation of our healthcare system for the future. This is linked, in several ways, to the further growth of our strengths in biomedical research and their application to address health issues of greatest relevance and impact for Singapore.” 

In welcoming Professor Tan, Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong said: “I am delighted that Professor Tan Chorh Chuan will be taking on the new appointments in MOH which will play a crucial role to prepare us in meeting our future healthcare challenges. He is a visionary leader and brings with him a wealth of valuable knowledge, experience and networks. I am confident that he will make a significant impact to MOH’s healthcare transformation as well as our health and biomedical research and development efforts.”

Professor Tan was president of the National University of Singapore from 2008 to 2017. The former director of medical services at MOH was responsible for leading the public health response to the 2003 SARS epidemic, and was the first Singaporean to be elected an international member of the United States National Academy of Medicine.

Source: CNA/mn