​Hand surgeon extraordinaire, mentor and IT-enabler, we pay tribute to Associate Professor Agnes Tan who was conferred the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award at the SingHealth Excellence Awards in June 2022.

Associate Professor Agnes Tan’s illustrious journey with SGH and SingHealth began over 40 years ago. She is well-loved by her patients and her personable and affable nature makes her an ideal mentor to many. She is also a well-respected educator, actively teaching the next generation and upskilling fellow colleagues. 

In recognition of her outstanding contributions, Prof Agnes, Senior Consultant, Hand & Reconstructive Microsurgery, received the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award at the SingHealth Excellence Awards in June 2022.

A strong proponent of tapping on IT as an enabler, she saw that IT could play a key role in transforming  the delivery of healthcare services; and in managing information and systems efficiently for better patient care and safety. Putting her conviction into action, Prof Agnes was a key clinician leader in the SingHealth workgroup for the deployment of IT in various systems including pharmacy, laboratory, radiology as well as surgical records. She also chaired several of the focus groups looking into enhancement, upgrading and customisation of our electronic medical records system to enable patient information to be shared across the cluster for more seamless care. 

When Academia was built, Prof Agnes led the critical project to plan the move of 10 Pathology and Haematology laboratories from various locations on Campus to bring them under one roof. This required intensive and detailed planning, as it was one of the largest scale laboratory relocations in the industry. She ensured that services were not disrupted, and provided for introduction of new technology and automation. Very importantly, she also made sure that colleagues and movers were kept safe, taking into account the biohazard risks involved.

Prof Agnes also believed deeply in service excellence, co-chairing the Service Quality Committee in SGH from 2008 to 2012. She was given the inaugural SGH Service Excellence Honorary Award in 2012, meant for members of senior management. Then Chairman of Medical Board Prof Ng Han Seong wrote, “you are our model and icon for the spirit of SGH.” 

A woman of hearts, she is also a strong supporter of the SGH Needy Patient Fund. With her encouragement, 100% of staff from Clinic K signed up to give to the fund in 2019. They in turned inspired doctors who run their outpatient sessions in the clinic to do the same.


Highlights of Prof Agnes' career

• 1991: First surgeon to be exit-certified in Hand Surgery (Singapore).

• 1996: One of 5 founding surgeons in the newly formed Hand Surgery specialty in Singapore and the only female surgeon.

• 2000: Appointed Inaugural Director Medical Manpower, SingHealth.

• 2003: Appointed Head of Department.

• 2006: Appointed Chairman Specialist Training Committee (Hand Surgery) under Joint Committee for Specialist Training, Singapore.

• 2009: Appointed Associate Professor in Duke-NUS Medical School and YLL School of Medicine, NUS.

• 2010: Appointed Chairman, Division of Ambulatory & Clinical Support Services.

• 2012: Received the Gold Award (2011), Singapore Health Quality Service Award and Inaugural Service Excellence Honorary Award, SGH.

• 2013: Appointed Chairman, Clinical Privileging & Competency Committee SGH.

• 2013: Appointed Clinical Physician Faculty in the Hand Surgery Residency & Surgery-In-General Programmes, SingHealth Graduate Medical Education Office.

• 2014: Received the Distinguished Visionary Leader Award, SingHealth Excellence Awards.

• 2019: Appointed Member of the Singapore Medical Council, Singapore.

• 2020: Appointed Advisor to the SGH Clinical Privileging & Competency Committee


The SingHealth Excellence Awards and GCEO Excellence Awards were established in 2011 to recognise the best of the best in SingHealth. This year, we honoured 67 colleagues, who have performed admirably and are well-deserving of these awards. Heartiest congratulations to all our winners! Scan the QR Code to see the full list of winners on SGH Workplace (access to SGH Workplace required).

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