MR GAN KIM YONG
Minister for Health, Republic of Singapore
Mr Gan Kim Yong has been the Minister for Health since May 2011.
One of Mr Gan’s key focuses at the Ministry of Health (MOH) is to drive Healthcare 2020, a masterplan outlining the Government’s strategy to ensure accessibility, quality and affordability of healthcare. Beyond 2020, MOH is preparing the healthcare system to meet Singaporeans’ long term healthcare needs in a sustainable manner, by making three key shifts to ensure the healthcare system is future-ready. These are: beyond hospital to the community, beyond quality to value, and beyond healthcare to health.
Under Mr Gan’s charge, MOH introduced MediShield Life in 2015, a universal medical insurance that covers all Singaporeans, regardless of health status, for life. To ensure healthcare remains affordable for Singaporeans, MOH also increased subsidies at outpatient clinics, and enhanced the Community Health Assist Scheme for primary care. To better prepare Singaporeans for their long-term care needs, a package of enhancements to long-term care financing, including CareShield Life, will be launched from 2020. In 2018, the healthcare system was reorganised into three integrated clusters, each with a broader range of healthcare services and facilities that will provide patients with more seamless care.
Mr Gan also helms the Ministerial Committee on Ageing (MCA) which drives the formulation and implementation of ageing policies in Singapore. The MCA looks into matters such as active ageing and lifelong employability; senior friendly infrastructure; quality aged care and research into ageing. In August 2015, the MCA launched a $3 billion Action Plan for Successful Ageing to help Singaporeans age confidently and lead active lives, with strong bonds with family and community. It includes more than 70 initiatives across 12 areas, namely, health and wellness, learning, volunteerism, employment, housing, transport, public spaces, respect and social inclusion, retirement adequacy, healthcare and aged care, protection for vulnerable seniors and research.
Mr Gan also co-chairs the national Diabetes Prevention & Care Taskforce which aims to drive whole of society efforts against diabetes in the key areas of prevention, screening and follow-up, and disease management. The Taskforce and its three supporting Workgroups work closely with the healthcare industry, academia, research, and community partners towards creating a supportive environment for people in Singapore to lead lives free from diabetes, and for those with diabetes to manage their condition well.
Prior to the Ministry of Health, Mr Gan headed the Ministry of Manpower from April 2008 to May 2011. In the 2009 economic recession, Mr Gan helped save jobs and minimise retrenchments through concerted efforts with industry partners.
Under his charge, the Ministry of Manpower stepped up efforts on productivity improvements to enhance the quality of the Singapore workforce. Mr Gan had been instrumental in overseeing and developing manpower policies to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing business environment in Singapore, and played a critical role in building a first class Continuing Education and Training system for a globally competitive workforce.
Mr Gan also led national committees such as the Tripartite Committee on Employability of Older Workers and the Tripartite Panel on Community Engagement at Workplaces. He also served as Advisor of the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices and was a member of the Economic Strategies Committee.
Mr Gan entered politics in 2001 and was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Holland-Bukit Panjang GRC. In 2006, he was re-elected as MP to serve in the Chua Chu Kang Single Member Constituency. He was re-elected as MP for the Group Representation Constituency (GRC) of Chua Chu Kang at the 2011 and 2015 General Elections.
Mr Gan was appointed Minister of State for Education and Minister of State for Manpower concurrently in 2005. He was promoted to Acting Minister for Manpower in April 2008, and took on his role as full Minister in April 2009.
He was awarded the Overseas Merit Scholarship to read Engineering in Cambridge University and graduated with a Bachelor degree (Honours) in 1981. Mr Gan subsequently obtained his Master’s Degree in Engineering from Cambridge University in 1985.
He joined the Administrative Service and worked at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Home Affairs. In 1989, Mr Gan left the Administrative Service for the private sector and joined NatSteel Ltd as a manager for Corporate Planning. He was promoted to Executive Vice President of NatSteel and CEO of NatSteel Resorts International and NatSteel Properties in 1996. He became the CEO and President of NatSteel in 2005.
Mr Gan was born in 1959. He is married with two daughters.