Home > About Us > Corporate Profile > NUHS Leadership Awards > The Winners > 2015 Winners > Professor Kandiah Satkunanantham


Senior Consultant
Division of Hip & Knee Surgery
University Orthopaedics,
Hand & Reconstructive
Microsurgery Cluster
National University Hospital

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
National University of Singapore

Professor Kandish Satkunanantham is Senior Consultant at the Department of Orthopaedics at the National University Hospital (NUH). His subspecialty interest is in knee disorders.

Prof Satku graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1974 and joined the University as a lecturer in 1978.  He is still an enthusiastic teacher.

During his more than 40 years in service, he has contributed to clinical service, education, research, administration and the development of healthcare professionals.

While Prof Satku has an interest in knee surgery, he continues to practise general orthopaedics so that he can serve his patients’ needs holistically. He is also one of the early pioneers in arthroscopy, ligament reconstruction and joint replacement surgery and has published more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, delivered more than 40 guest lectures regionally and internationally, presented more than 100 conference papers and published more than 10 chapters in books.

He was Head of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and NUH from 2001 to 2003, as well as Clinical Director, NUH from 1997 to 1999 and Vice-Chairman, Medical Board, NUH from 2000 to 2001. During his tenure as head of the department, he started the VK Pillay and Robert Pho Lectureships.

He has also been active in professional matters, and has served as Master, Academy of Medicine from 2002 to 2004, President, Singapore Orthopaedic Association in 1993 and Chairman, Chapter of Surgeons, Academy of Medicine from 1994 to 1995.

Appointed Director of Medical Services (DMS), Ministry of Health in April 2004, Prof Satku held the appointment for 10 years, till December 2013. During this period, he was also Chairman of the Specialist Accreditation Board and Registrar of the Singapore Medical Council.

During his tenure as DMS, he made invaluable contributions to policy formulation, professional education and healthcare innovations to meet the rising expectations of the population and the challenges of an aging population.

He championed the development of the Primary Care Master Plan and the Family Physician Register that set the foundation for a strong primary and continuing care system outside the acute hospital setting to provide a more holistic patient-centric healthcare service. He also led the development of the National Mental Health Blueprint and policy for Singapore. This ensured that the mental health needs of our population are well taken care of.

With a personal vision for every healthcare professional to be a patient advocate, he contributed much to the transformation of the education and training system of healthcare professionals. He has also strengthened healthcare regulatory capabilities and Singapore’s pandemic preparedness.

He has also served as a Board Member of the following agencies - National Environment Agency, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, National Research Foundation and MOH Holdings. He was recognised for his numerous contributions when he was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) and the Meritorious Service Medal on National Day in 2009 and 2014 respectively.

He currently serves as Chairman of the Health Sciences Authority and does research in health systems and health policies at the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health.

Prof Kandish Satkunanantham’s distinguished record in clinical service, education, research, administration and the development of healthcare professionals is recognised tonight via the Emeritus Consultant Award 2015.