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05 Dec 2019

5th Dec 2019

1. Associate Professor Benjamin Ong will be relinquishing his role as Director of Medical Services (DMS) of the Ministry of Health (MOH) from 1 February 2020. A/Prof Ong will return to the National University of Singapore (NUS) to take up the position as Senior Vice President (Health Education & Resources). He will also continue to practise as a senior consultant neurologist at the National University Hospital (NUH).

2. A/Prof Kenneth Mak will succeed A/Prof Ong as DMS from 1 February 2020. A/Prof Mak will be appointed DMS-Designate from 16 December 2019 to 31 January 2020.

3. In his six years as DMS, A/Prof Ong played a pivotal role in developing Singapore’s healthcare system. He oversaw the opening of new public healthcare facilities, pushed for the transformation of our care models to meet the needs of an ageing population and contributed to the War on Diabetes. He also expanded our preventive health, primary care and community-based senior care efforts.

4. A/Prof Ong has strengthened our healthcare regulatory and health technology assessment capabilities. During his tenure, MOH established regulatory sandboxes to enable new and innovative healthcare models and services. A/Prof Ong also oversaw the formation and expansion of the Agency for Care Effectiveness (ACE), and pushed for treatments that are both clinically and cost effective.

5. A/Prof Ong’s strong leadership contributed to the effective management of disease outbreaks, including the first cases of Zika virus infection in 2016 and Monkeypox in 2019. He was also instrumental in the setting up of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases to strengthen our outbreak prevention, detection and response capabilities.

6. As leader of the healthcare professional community, A/Prof Ong has expanded our healthcare manpower attraction, development and retention efforts. He initiated efforts to re-align doctor training to Singapore’s needs, and expanded nursing intakes and development.

7. A/Prof Kenneth Mak, a general surgeon by training, is currently Deputy Director of Medical Services (Health Services Group) at MOH. In his current role, A/Prof Mak oversees the development of healthcare services in acute, intermediate and long-term care settings, as well as the primary care sector. He also works closely with the regional health systems and the Agency for Integrated Care to improve care integration, as well as on healthcare transformation strategies. He is concurrently a Senior Consultant in the Department of Surgery in Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH). Prior to his current appointment, A/Prof Mak was Chairman of Medical Board at KTPH.

8. MOH wishes to express our deepest appreciation to A/Prof Ong for his leadership and invaluable contributions to the Ministry and to the Singapore healthcare system. We also wish to extend a warm welcome to A/Prof Mak as he takes on his new roles.