Dr Ngu has been a surgeon with Changi General Hospital’s Department of General Surgery since 2009. Describing his work as “humbling, because patients put their lives in our hands”, he spares no effort in providing his patients with the best care possible. His dedication has prompted patients to send numerous cards and heartfelt notes to thank him for his exceptional care.

In 2014, Dr Ngu championed the Enhanced Recovery Programme (ERP) which results in faster recovery and fewer complications for patients undergoing colorectal surgery. The programme effectively shortened the average length of stay in hospital from 7 to 4 days, and reduced complication rates by more than 50 per cent. This also resulted in fewer unplanned readmissions and improved patient satisfaction.

Dr Ngu has also been instrumental in the hospital’s development of minimally-invasive and robotic colorectal surgery. Working with a dedicated team of nurses and anaesthetists, he introduced numerous measures to optimise the recovery of patients after colorectal surgery. These include pre-operative counselling to better understand patients’ needs, selective bowel preparation, goal-directed fluid therapy, as well as early post-operative feeding and ambulation.

Aside from his official duties, he was part of a medical team that volunteered their services in 2016 to perform hernia surgery in Bangladesh. Following the success of this mission trip, the team of surgeons, residents and anaesthetists returned in August 2017 to continue their humanitarian efforts.

On the research front, Dr Ngu actively contributes to medical journals and is on the Reviewer and Editorial boards of several scientific journals. He received the Outstanding Reviewer Award by the International Journal of Surgery Case Reports in 2015 and the Reviewer Recognition Award by the Singapore Medical Journal in 2016.

A firm believer in knowledge-sharing and skills transfer, Dr Ngu trains his juniors to improve their surgical management and bedside manners, and constantly reminds them of the need to be meticulous and professional.

Dr James Ngu Chi Yong 
Department of General Surgery 
Changi General Hospital 

Recipient of the Singapore Health Quality Service Awards (SHQSA) 2019 Superstar Award - Clinician Category