Since 1858, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) has embarked on an ongoing journey to transform care and advance medical innovation, research and education, evolving from humble beginnings as a general hospital to become Singapore’s tertiary referral centre for women and children today.

In 2018, as KKH commemorates 160 years of heritage in service the community and caring for women’s and children’s health, the hospital remains committed on their mission to deliver excellent, holistic and compassionate care for generations of women and children to come.

↑ 1858: The journey begins
The modern-day KKH begins as the fifth general hospital in Singapore, built near the Kandang Kerbau area. Locals commonly referred to it as KK – Kandang Kerbau, which means “bullock pen” in Malay.   In 1865, the hospital started seeing its first gynaecological and childbirth cases. 

↑ 1940s: A dedicated maternity hospital
The hospital becomes Kandang Kerbau Hospital (KK Hospital) in 1924, expanding its facilities and capabilities over the years to meet the rising demand for maternity care in Singapore.

↑ 1951: The father of modern obstetrics and gynaecology in Singapore
Dr Benjamin Henry Sheares takes on the role of the first Singaporean Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at KK Hospital. Dr Sheares later pioneers a procedure to create a vagina for women born without one – also known as the “Sheares Operation”. 

↑ 1952: Training a new generation of local midwives
KK Hospital launches Singapore’s first School of Midwifery to equip midwives with essential skills to conduct labour and delivery for patients in the labour wards, as well as provide nursing care and health education to new mothers.

↑ 1955: Bringing care into the community
During a nation-wide baby boom, KK Hospital introduces Domiciliary Delivery and Aftercare Services to provide home-based antenatal care and help expectant mothers deliver safely at home.

​About KKH

KKH is Singapore’s largest tertiary referral centre for Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Neonatology. Founded in 1858, the 160-year-old academic medical institution specialises in the management of high-risk conditions in women and children. More than 500 specialists adopt a compassionate, multi-disciplinary and holistic approach to treatment, and harness medical innovations and technology to deliver the best medical care possible.

Accredited as an Academic Medical Centre, KKH is a major teaching hospital for all three medical schools in Singapore, Duke-NUS Medical School, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine. The 830-bed hospital also runs the largest specialist training programme for Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Paediatrics in the country. Both programmes are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education International (ACGME-I), and are highly rated for the high quality of clinical teaching and the commitment to translational research.

This article was first published in KKH Special Delivery Issue 1, 2018