Chairman of Covid-19 vaccination strategy committee appointed to Public Service Commission

President Halimah Yacob at the swearing-in ceremony of Associate Professor Benjamin Ong as a member of the Public Service Commission. PHOTO: HALIMAH YACOB/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - President Halimah Yacob has appointed Associate Professor Benjamin Ong as a member of the Public Service Commission (PSC) for a five-year term from Tuesday (Dec 1).

Prof Ong, 63, is senior vice-president (health education and resources) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) as well as senior consultant with the division of neurology at the National University of Hospital (NUH).

He also chairs the 14-member expert committee appointed by Ministry of Health (MOH) on Oct 5 to make recommendations to the Government on Singapore's Covid-19 vaccination strategy.

On his appointment, Prof Ong said: "I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute, as part of the team at the PSC, to help ensure that Singapore continues to have the breadth and depth of talent we need for the increasingly challenging times we face as a country."

Between January 2014 and January this year, Prof Ong played a key role in improving Singapore's healthcare system as director of medical services at MOH.

He was instrumental in setting up the National Centre for Infectious Diseases which opened last year, and led the transformation of healthcare models to meet the needs of the ageing population.

He also strengthened healthcare regulatory and health technology assessment capabilities, and helped expand healthcare manpower attraction, development and retention efforts.

Before his MOH appointment, Prof Ong was concurrently chief executive at National University Health System (NUHS) and senior vice-president of health affairs at NUS.

During his stint as chairman of the Integrated Health Information Systems Singapore, he led healthcare IT development and process improvement in patient care delivery.

He was also chairman of the medical board at NUH as well as head of department of medicine at NUS.

In recognition for his contributions to the public service, Prof Ong was conferred the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2009, the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2015, and the Meritorious Service Medal this year.

The PSC is in charge of selecting and developing scholarship holders, appointing senior management and maintaining discipline in the civil service.

PSC chairman Lee Tzu Yang said: "I warmly welcome Prof Ong to the Commission. With his wealth of experience and interests, he will bring his own perspectives and ideas to enrich the PSC's discussions on talent identification and selection."

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.