National Medical Excellence Awards go to 5 docs, 2 community care teams

(From left) Associate professor Ng Kee Chong, Clinical professor Chan Choo Meng, Associate professor Lim Poh Lian and Professor Marcus Ong Eng Hock. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Two doctors who played key roles in the Covid-19 pandemic were recognised on Monday as outstanding clinicians of the year.

Before Singapore received doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in late December 2020, Associate Professor Lim Poh Lian, senior consultant and the head of the Travellers' Health and Vaccination Clinic at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, was busy helping to calm public anxiety about the safety and effectiveness of the shots.

As a member of the Ministry of Health's expert committee on Covid-19 vaccination, she also dealt with the inevitable logistical hurdles that were posed by the sheer number of people to be vaccinated.

Prof Lim, who also helped identify Singapore's first case of monkeypox in 2019, has more than two decades of expertise in managing disease outbreaks.

She was awarded the National Outstanding Clinician Award on Monday.

The award also went to Associate Professor Ng Kee Chong, a pioneer in paediatric emergency medicine who established the paediatric emergency preparedness plan in response to the rapidly evolving Covid-19 pandemic. He also helped to advance clinical education in maternal and child health.

Prof Ng, chairman of the medical board and senior consultant at the emergency medicine department at KK Women's and Children's Hospital, was instrumental in establishing Singapore's first children's emergency service at the hospital in 1997, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, who gave out this year's National Medical Excellence Awards at a dinner held at W Singapore in Sentosa, said the recipients had shown passion, commitment and resilience in their relentless pursuit of medical excellence, which ultimately improved people's lives.

Professor Marcus Ong Eng Hock, a senior consultant and clinician scientist at the Singapore General Hospital's (SGH) emergency medicine department, received the National Outstanding Clinician Scientist Award.

At the NUH Khoo Teck Puat-National University Children's Medical Institute, senior consultant Daniel Goh Yam Thiam, who has mentored paediatricians over nearly 30 years, received the National Outstanding Clinician Mentor Award.

MOH said Associate Professor Goh had contributed significantly to the field of paediatrics in Singapore, in the region and internationally.

The National Outstanding Clinician Educator Award went to Clinical Professor Chan Choong Meng, a senior consultant at SGH's renal medicine department and SingHealth's group chief education officer.

MOH lauded his contributions to the education and training of clinicians and healthcare staff, and support in developing skills and competencies for high standards of care and treatment.

The team behind CareLine, a 24/7 personal care telephone service pioneered by Changi General Hospital (CGH) for vulnerable seniors in need of urgent assistance, received the National Clinical Excellence Team Award.

(From left) Adjunct Associate Professor Eugene Shum Jin-wen with Ms Claudia Ma, Ms Pearline Lee and Mr Eric Chen. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Led by Adjunct Associate Professor Eugene Shum Jin-wen, CGH's chief community development officer, CareLine has helped close to 19,000 seniors age well in the community since it was launched in 2016.

The team award also went to the community health assessment team, or Chat, at the Institute of Mental Health for improving access to mental health care for distressed young people and advocating youth mental health literacy.

Chat, which is led by Associate Professor Swapna Kamal Verma, offers free and confidential mental health assessment for distressed youth.

Recipients of the 2022 National Medical Excellence Awards

National Outstanding Clinician Awards:
Associate Professor Lim Poh Lian
Associate Professor Ng Kee Chong

National Outstanding Clinician Scientist Award:
Professor Marcus Ong Eng Hock

National Outstanding Clinician Mentor Award:
Associate Professor Daniel Goh Yam Thiam

National Outstanding Clinician Educator Award:
Clinical Professor Chan Choong Meng

National Clinical Excellence Team Awards:
CareLine team at Changi General Hospital
Adjunct Associate Professor Eugene Shum Jin-wen
Ms Pearline Lee
Ms Claudia Ma
Mr Eric Chen
Chat team at the Institute of Mental Health
Associate Professor Swapna Kamal Verma
Dr Charmaine Tang Yu Zheng
Ms Lee Yi Ping
Ms Chloe Ang Choo Eng

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