Dr. Koh Poh KoonSenior Minister of State for Manpower

Dr Koh Poh Koon

MBBS (S’pore), MMed (Surg), MRCSEd, FRCSE (Gen), FAMS (Gen Surg)

Senior Minister of State

Ministry of Health & Ministry of Manpower


Dr Koh Poh Koon is Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower. He was re-elected as a Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC on 10 July 2020, having served as a Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC since 2015.


At the Ministry of Health, Dr Koh is in charge of healthcare financing policies and plays a key role in ensuring that healthcare remains affordable and accessible for all Singaporeans, through a range of schemes like MediShield Life, CareShield Life and the Community Health Assist Scheme. Dr Koh also oversees healthcare manpower development and polices to meet the increasing healthcare needs of our ageing population. He is part of the team that drives the Ministry’s War on Diabetes to engender a whole-of-society effort against diabetes in the key areas of prevention, screening and follow-up, and disease management. As a healthcare practitioner himself, Dr Koh is well-placed to engage the medical fraternity and various professional bodies to drive collaborations across the sector, including the Traditional and Complementary Medicine sectors.


At the Ministry of Manpower, Dr Koh oversees employment standards and safeguards, which underpin fair and progressive workplaces for employees and employers. Dr Koh is also focused on strengthening policies and protections for vulnerable workers, including migrant and platform workers. Prior to his appointment at the Ministry of Manpower, Dr Koh was Deputy Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress, where he worked closely with union leaders and the Labour Movement network to implement the Industry Transformation Maps and better prepare workers for jobs in key growth sectors. Dr Koh continues to play an instrumental role in Singapore’s tripartite landscape, and champions the Progressive Wage Model for lower-wage workers.


Dr Koh also held portfolios in the Ministry of Trade and Industry where he focused on research and development and Entrepreneurship matters, and was the patron of the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE). He led the promotion of a dynamic and effective energy market in Singapore. In the area of trade and investment, Dr Koh oversaw the development of Singapore's bilateral economic relations with China, the European Union, the Middle East and Russia & Central Asia. He remains as the Vice Co-Chair of the Singapore-Jiangsu Economic Council. Under the ambit of the Future Economy Council, Dr Koh continues as co-chair of two sub-committees overseeing the transformation of the manufacturing and the trade and connectivity clusters.


Before joining politics, Dr Koh held academic appointments as Clinical Lecturer in the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and Adjunct Clinician Scientist with the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), a key institution under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star). Dr Koh also served as a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon in Singapore General Hospital and was the Director of the Colorectal Cancer Molecular Genetics Research Laboratory as well as the founding Director of the Colorectal Cancer Genomic Health Service.


Dr Koh started his own private practice in 2011 at Capstone Colorectal Surgery Centre in Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre. In 2012, he partnered Fortis Healthcare Singapore to set up the first dedicated colorectal diseases hospital in Southeast Asia, the Fortis Colorectal hospital.


Dr Koh is a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Singapore Armed Forces, having served as the Commanding Officer of a Combat Service Support Battalion and subsequently as Deputy Brigade Commander. He graduated in 2009 from the Singapore Armed Forces Command and Staff College, where he emerged as the Top Graduate of the 10th National Service Command and Staff Course.


He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore in 1996 and obtained his Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) as well as the Academy of Medicine (Singapore) in 2005. He received colorectal surgical training in Edinburgh, UK (2002) and completed his Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA (2006).

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