As Singapore’s national eye hospital, the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) is one of the key public healthcare facilities for eye surgeries and treatments. Since 1990, SNEC has been providing high quality affordable eye care to 60% of the public sector and it offers a full spectrum of tertiary subspecialties. SNEC plays a role in formulating national community health programmes and is a pioneer in ophthalmic quality assurance programmes where all surgeries are recorded for outcome and quality audit purposes.
For its sound performance at all levels, SNEC has gained both local and international prominence and has secured its place as an international referral centre for complex cases and as a training centre for ophthalmic education around the world. With its research arm, the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), SNEC has also brought to the fore high-impact clinical and translational research.
25 Years of Achievements
SNEC celebrated 25 years of service to the nation.
The $5 million Arthur Lim Professorship in Ophthalmology was set up by SNEC and Duke-NUS. Professor Donald Tan was named the first Arthur Lim Professor in Ophthalmology.
Professor Donald Tan, Professor Aung Tin and Professor Saw Seang Mei from SNEC/SERI were named in the list of the world’s top 100 ophthalmologists in the UK-based journal, The Ophthalmologist. Professor Wong Tien Yin was named the world’s most prolific author on diabetic macular edema.
SNEC produced and made available Myopine™ eye drops (0.01% atropine) to reduce progression of childhood myopia.
Two eye research teams were conferred the President’s Science and Technology Awards. The first, led by Professor Wong Tien Yin and his team from NUS and A*STAR, for the development of a suite of novel eye image analysis technologies and the other, led by Associate Professor Tina Wong and her team from NTU, for the development of a sustained drug-delivery technology to apply anti-glaucoma medicine.
SERI’s $25 million TCR grant was renewed with the introduction of the Surgery and Innovative Technologies (EyeSITe) programme.
SNEC started a dedicated Myopia Clinic to provide atropine treatment to children aged six to 12.
SNEC partners with Duke-NUS to launch the Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Academic Clinical Programme, strengthening its academic medicine mission.
SERI scientists discovered three genes linked to primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG), a leading cause of blindness in Chinese people, and published their findings in the prestigious Nature Genetics journal.
SERI partners with Tan Tock Seng Hospital to introduce the Singapore Integrated Diabetic Retinopathy Programme (SiDRP), a national diabetic retinopathy screening programme at polyclinics.
SERI launched its inaugural fundraising gala dinner, The Eye Ball in October with President Tony Tan Keng Yam gracing the occasion.
First-in-Asia DMEK advanced technique for corneal transplantation with a potential for 100 per cent success, was introduced by SNEC.
SERI launched its inaugural fundraising initiative via the Eyes that tell Stories photo exhibition, featuring the eyes of Singapore’s founding father, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, among others.
SERI was admitted as a full member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). An international alliance, the IAPB partners with the World Health Organization to lead efforts in blindness prevention.
Professor Wong Tien Yin, then SERI Director, was awarded the President’s Science Award 2010 for the development and use of novel retinal imaging to understand pathways in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
Professors Donald Tan, Roger Beuerman and Aung Tin were the pioneer recipients of the prestigious President’s Science Award 2009 for their innovative breakthroughs in ‘bench-to-bedside’ medical research in blinding corneal diseases and glaucoma, leading to major advancements in scientific knowledge and the treatment of these diseases.
Tan Endoglide™, a patented endothelium insertion system for corneal transplantation, was named after Professor Donald Tan and his team.
SERI was awarded a $25 million translational clinical research flagship grant for the Translational Research Innovations in Ocular Surgery (TRIOS), a five-year programme focusing on two major causes of global blindness: corneal disease and glaucoma.
SNEC together with Moorfields Eye Hospital (UK) and Rotterdam Eye
Hospital (the Netherlands) jointly founded the World Association of Eye Hospitals.
SNEC and SERI scientists published in Nature Genetics a study describing a gene that caused congenital corneal hereditary endothelial dystrophy, a severe form of blindness affecting children.
SNEC doctors became the first to establish a strong link between a blinding fungal infection and a contact lens solution. That led to a worldwide recall of the product, halting the epidemic. The team received the inaugural Minister for Health Award.
SNEC and the National Dental Centre performed the first Osteo-Odonto Keratoprosthesis (OOKP) surgery in Southeast Asia. Also known as ‘Tooth-in-Eye’ surgery, it is aimed at helping those blinded by end-stage corneal disease.
The ASEAN Association of Eye Hospitals (AAEH) was inaugurated in Kuala Lumpur with SNEC being one of the five founding members comprising major eye hospitals in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand.
SNEC received the Excellence for Singapore Award for clinical and research breakthroughs such as conjunctival stem cell transplantation.
SERI released encouraging early findings from the Atropine in the Treatment of Myopia (ATOM) clinical trial on children. A decade later, Atropine is now available as a treatment option for progressive myopia in children at SNEC.
SNEC held the first annual National Eye Care Day with eye screening services for the elderly.
SNEC phase 2 extension began with a $50 million, eight-storey building comprising two floors of outpatient clinics, five operating theatres, and two floors of SERI’s research clinics and laboratories, among other facilities.
The Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), the first research institute dedicated to ophthalmic research in Asia, was officially opened.
SNEC partnered with key public hospitals such as Changi General Hospital and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital to offer eye care services across Singapore.
SNEC began providing a full range of subspecialty eye care services from cataract to glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology and paediatric ophthalmology.
SNEC was officially opened by then Health Minister Mr Yeo Cheow Tong.
World-renowned eye surgeon Professor Arthur Lim was appointed SNEC’s first Medical Director.
SNEC saw its first patient in October.
SNEC hosted the 26th International Congress of Ophthalmology (ICO) for the first time with 7,600 participants, the largest international conference in Singapore.
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