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 is to formulate and implement Healthcare 2020, a masterplan outlining the Government’s strategy to ensure accessibility, quality and affordability of healthcare. This includes the introduction of MediShield Life, a universal medical insurance that covers all Singaporeans, regardless of health status, for life. MediShield Life starts on 1 Nov 2015, and will give Singaporeans greater peace of mind and assurance over their large hospital bills.

Mr Gan also helms the Ministerial Committee on Ageing (MCA), which key focus is to spearhead Singapore's promotion of active ageing for its ageing population. It looks into matters such as active ageing and employability; aged care infrastructure; quality aged care and manpower development. In August 2015, the MCA unveiled the key features of 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 about 60 initiatives covering 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.

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.