The First Scientific Meeting of the Society was held on the 27 – 28th August 1998 at the Mandarin Hotel. The aim of the meeting was to provide a broad education in Nephrology for our doctors, especially medical trainees, general practitioners, nurses and paramedical members of the Society. Since 1988 the Society has held this meeting on an annual basis and named it the Renal Update.
Through the years the activities of the Society have grown and become all embracing. Though we are small in numbers, because of our network through affiliations the roots of the Society have spread over many related areas of Nephrological Practice. This has been made possible because of our long term relationship with the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), the Singapore General Hospital (SGH), the National University Hospital (NUH) and the Kidney Dialysis Foundation (KDF) and lately the Academy of Medicine in Singapore.
With funding from the NKF the Society was able to spearhead the development of the Singapore Renal Registry in June 1991. Its objectives were to implement a consolidated renal disease data system to provide biostatical, data management and analytical expertise to characterise the total renal patient population and describe the distribution of patients by sociodemographic variables across treatment modalities. Today the National Renal Registry resides within the Ministry of Health (MOH) and continues to fulfill this important function.
In March 2004, the Society together with the Malaysian Society of Nephrology inaugurated the First Singapore-Malaysia Nephrology Forum. This forum is to allow regular scientific meetings between nephrologists in both these countries to strengthen existing ties that already existed. This forum symbolises our close working relationship professionally and socially and allows the younger members of the nephrology community to interact more closely with both senior and younger members from both sides of the causeway. The next forum will be held in Singapore in 2009. The venue alternates between the two host countries.
In 2006 the Chapter of Renal Physicians was formed under the auspices of the College of Physicians of the Academy of Medicine. Since 2007, when the Chapter of Renal Physicians had its inauguration it has held its meeting as part of the Renal Update of the SSN.
The present President of the Chapter of Renal Physicians, Prof Wong Kok Seng became the recipient of the First Lim Cheng Hong Lecture which was delivered at the First Joint Meeting of the SSN and the Chapter of Renal Physicians in October 2007. The Lim Cheng Hong Lecture launched in 2007 was created to honour Dr Lim Cheng Hong who is the First President of the SSN and the First Head of the Department of Renal Medicine, SGH. He together with Prof Khoo Oon Teik are the two founding fathers of Nephrology in Singapore.
In the evening of the same day on 26th May 2007, Prof Lina Choong, the present President of the SSN was honoured as the recipient of the First Chapter of Renal Physician’s Lecture hosted by the Academy of Medicine and sponsored by the Society. This year on 12th April 2008 Prof Yap Hui Khim (Head, Dept of Paediatrics, NUH) became the recipient of the 2nd Lim Cheng Hong Lectureship and Prof Evan Lee (Immediate Past President of the SSN) the recipient of the 2nd Chapter of Renal Physician’s Lectureship. Both of these are highly prestigious awards in Academic Nephrology in Singapore.
The SSN Achievement Award in Nephrology is what we consider the sterling award. This award is bestowed on individuals who have contributed to Nephrology through his or her leadership role in the Nephrology community or contribution towards the building and shaping of the nephrology scene in Singapore. The previous recipients included Prof Tan Chorh Chuan, Mr T T Durai, Dr Gordon Ku, Prof Evan Lee, Prof Wong Kok Seng and this year’s recipient is Dr Grace Lee.
In 2006, together with the Chapter of Renal Physicians the SSN embarked on two additional activities. The first was the organization of an Annual Scientific Meeting of the Advanced Specialty Trainees in Nephrology (NAST). This is a platform which allows the trainees to present their research findings to members of the Society and Chapter for them to exchange ideas and learn from the critique of senior members of the fraternity. This is an active area where competitors vie for the best paper and win a handsome prize.
The SSN Nursing Chapter was inaugurated in 2006. Its objectives are to increase the knowledge, skills and scientific standing of the renal nurses and also to foster camaraderie amongst the members.
The first committee of the Nursing Chapter comprised:
- Ms Theresa Soh (Chairperson)
- Ms Mah Yoke Yin
- Ms Molly Tan
- Ms Esther Lim Hai Thiam
- Mr Thomas Wong
- Ms Hui Soh Heng
- Ms Jane van der Straaten
- Ms Ong Siew Yit
- Ms Yong Oi Li
Since last year 2007, an Annual Nurses’ Week Meeting was launched. The members present scientific papers, engage in a debate or quiz and have a Telematch in the afternoon.
“Renal Works” is the Scientific Publication of the SSN. Its Editors include Dr Grace Lee, Prof Evan Lee and Dr Roger Tan. Renal Works publishes classic articles in nephrology together with abstracts of papers and original articles published by members of the SSN during the past 2 years. Vol 1, 2005/2006 was released in 2007.
A highlight of this year’s programme will be SOTANC 2008 (State of the Art Nephrology Course) which is organized by the SSN. It has its origins from the KDF course of the same name. The Course Advisor is Prof David Lee from UCLA and Course Directors are Prof Evan Lee and Dr Gordon Ku with Dr Grace Lee, Prof Lina Choong and Dr Tan Seng Hoe as co-ordinators. SOTANC is a comprehensive course in Nephrology held every two years in Singapore. This course focuses on recent advances and best practices in nephrology with the needs of the nephrologist in the Asia Pacific area in mind. So far it has been highly successful with an International Teaching Faculty. Hitherto, our fellows have to travel to USA, UK and other countries to attend such courses to upgrade their knowledge as part of their continuing medical education (CME). Today, the SSN develops its own course with the KDF and brings this offer right to the front doors of nephrologists in the Asian Pacific Region, thus rightly fulfilling its Educational Role.
The Society celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a Commemorative Dinner on Thursday, 22 November 2012. The dinner was held at Deck 9 in the Singapore General Hospital and was attended by close to 80 guests who included senior nephrologists, transplant surgeons, transplant coordinators and nurses who had contributed to the development of Nephrology in Singapore. Our Malaysian counterparts were also invited.
Prior to the dinner, a tour was organised in the SGH museum at Bowyer’s Block, the location of the first Renal Unit in Singapore. Guests viewed the old Kiil dialyser, photographs of the first transplant and original documents and records kept by the first transplant team.
The Dinner programme started with an address by A/Prof Evan Lee entitled “Learning, Reacting, Leading” in which he succinctly covered the history of the Society and the lessons learnt over the years. The programme also included a walk down memory lane where Dr Beatrice Chen (senior nephrologist), Dr Chan Kong Thoe (transplant surgeon), Ms Theresa Soh (nurse), Ms Sally Kong (transplant coordinator) and Dr Sobhana Thangaraju (junior nephrologist) shared anecdotes of their experiences. Guests were treated to a song – “That’s What Friends Are For” - by the young Registrars and tokens of appreciation were presented to those who contributed significantly to development of Nephrology in Singapore.
The event offered an evening of good food, wine and company where old friendships were renewed and the younger generation had an opportunity to meet the individuals who helped shape the practice of Nephrology in Singapore.