Overview of Otorhinolaryngology in Singapore

Otorhinolaryngology in Singapore started off in 1926 under the direction of general surgeons Mr. C.J. Smith and Professor Dickson Wright, Professor of Surgery in the King Edward VII College of Medicine. Otolaryngology became a separate discipline of surgery in Singapore in 1928 with the advent of Mr. B.M. Johns, a general surgeon who was trained in ENT Surgery in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.


Singapore’s first independent ENT unit was established at the Stanley Block Singapore General Hospital in 1957 headed by Mr. Au Kee Hock. Upon Mr. Au’s retirement a year later, Mr. Seow Li Jin, who is credited with introducing microsurgery in ENT, became Head of Unit in 1958. During this period, diagnostic, therapeutic, and training modalities essential to Otolaryngology were established (i.e. advanced audiological diagnostic facilities and the vestibular laboratory, fibre-optic nasal endoscopy and a temporal bone micro-surgical laboratory) all in 1980, carbon dioxide laser surgery in 1982 and endoscopic sinus surgery in 1987. Sub-specialization in Head & Neck Surgery, Otology (including Neuro-Otology), Pediatric Otolaryngology, and Audiology were identified from 1986, Rhinology in 1990, Laryngology in 1998,  Sleep Surgery in 2003, and Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery in 2008. The Section of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery was formed in 2018.


ENT Services were set up at Tan Tock Seng Hospital in 1978 and at Toa Payoh Hospital as early as 1967, firstly with ENT specialists from Singapore General Hospital serving on a rotational basis and later as full time staff in independent departments. As with worldwide trends, most ENT departments are converting or have converted their department names to Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Departments to reflect the central role of the ENT specialty in Head and Neck surgery.



Board Members 2019 - 2021
Rank Name
Chairman Dr Yeo Seng Beng
Vice-Chairman Dr Ian Loh Chi Yuan
Honorary Secretary Dr Ngo Yeow Seng, Raymond
Members Dr Mok Kan Hwei, Paul
  Dr Tan Yau Boon, Barrie
  Dr Sandeep Uppal 
  Dr Liu Jia Ying


Please click here to view Past Board Members.

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