• The Institute aims to address global health challenges in South East Asia and the region
  • Private healthcare group Parkway Pantai makes S$2 million gift to establish scholarship fund for medical students

Singapore, 21 September 2018 – Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan opened the fifth SingHealth Duke-NUS Scientific Congress 2018 today.  At the opening ceremony, Minister Balakrishnan launched the SingHealth Duke-NUS Global Health Institute (SDGHI), which aims to address global health challenges in South East Asia and the region. He also witnessed a cheque presentation of S$2 million by private healthcare group, Parkway Pantai, to the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre, to establish the Mount Elizabeth-Gleneagles Graduate Scholarship Fund for medical students. 

Launch of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Global Health Institute

With rapid globalisation, increasing disease burden and new and emerging infectious diseases, achieving overall health goals for communities presents ongoing challenges for health systems and governments. The SGDHI will collaborate with countries in the region and further afield to address health issues, strengthen health systems, and better insulate countries from pandemics and disease threats.

It will focus its efforts on four areas – research to respond to current and emerging health issues; education and training of future global health leaders; policy development to implement strong regulatory practices and high value health systems; and capacity building to develop a robust collaborative network of regional partners.

Researchers, educators, and healthcare practitioners in the SDGHI will work across borders to gain deeper insights into diseases seldom seen locally, be exposed to diverse patient case-mixes and disease manifestations, and conduct multi-national research studies.

Reaffirming the close relationship between SingHealth, Duke-NUS Medical School and Duke University, Durham, USA, Professor Michael H. Merson, former vice-provost for global affairs at Duke University and founding director of the University’s Duke Global Health Institute, will helm the SDGHI. With a career spanning decades in prominent global health leadership roles, Prof Merson has served in advisory capacities for UNAIDS, WHO, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, World Bank, World Economic Forum, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Professor Ivy Ng, Group CEO, SingHealth said, “Solutions to health challenges do not always come from our own backyard. By working with regional collaborators, our healthcare professionals will gain valuable insights to hone their clinical skills and research expertise to address emerging health challenges and disease threats. The SingHealth Duke-NUS Global Health Institute will enable us to work with partners in the region to push the boundaries of medicine and achieve better health outcomes for our respective communities.”

Parkway Pantai’s S$2 million gift to support medical education               

The Scientific Congress opening ceremony also saw private healthcare group, Parkway Pantai, making a generous gift of S$2 million to establish the Mount Elizabeth-Gleneagles Graduate Scholarship Fund. The gift will go towards scholarship awards for financially needy Duke-NUS medical students and talent development awards for medical students from all three local medical schools who have excelled at their individual or group academic projects, to present their findings at international seminars and conferences. Each year, the Fund will support about 10 scholarship awards and eight SingHealth Medical Student Talent Development Awards.   

“We believe people are our greatest asset. Through our two medical scholarships established with NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and now Duke-NUS Medical School, Parkway Pantai is proud to support the development of future-ready medical talent in Singapore. Our endowed gift will help outstanding medical students focus on their academic goals and realise their full potential and dreams,” said Dr Tan See Leng, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of IHH Healthcare and Group Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Parkway Pantai.

In a ceremony witnessed by Minister Balakrishnan, Dato Mohammed Azlan bin Hashim, Chairman, IHH Healthcare, and Dr Tan See Leng presented the S$2 million gift cheque to Professor Ivy Ng, Group CEO, SingHealth, and Professor Thomas Coffman, Dean, Duke-NUS Medical School.

“We are grateful to Parkway Pantai for their generous support of medical education and the future of healthcare in Singapore. The Mount Elizabeth-Gleneagles Graduate Scholarship will enable Duke-NUS students to realise their aspirations of becoming great clinicians without undue financial burden,” remarked Professor Coffman.

The SingHealth Duke-NUS Scientific Congress 2018 is one of the largest and most distinguished healthcare related scientific events that brings together thought leaders and healthcare professionals to share insights in care improvement, research and education to improve patients' outcomes. Themed “Academic Medicine: Translating Research into Clinical Practice”, the 2-day event covers a wide range of research and education-related topics that reflect the evolving healthcare concerns brought about by changing disease patterns.