Exco Member

Dr Lucy Ooi

A group of women doctors have banded together to set up the first-ever women doctors’ society here to help them and their colleagues network and promote health issues, especially those related to women.

Called the Women Doctors of Singapore, the group will be applying to the Registry of Societies by year’s end and hopes to obtain approval in three to six months, said its pro-tem president, Dr Lucy Ooi-Tan, in an interview on Thursday.

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The idea for the group, comprising medical and dental professionals, was mooted by orthopaedic surgeon Kanwaljit Soin, a former Nomination MP, in March this year, she said.

Dr Tan said: “We would be in a good position to provide resources. We could cull from different disciplines. The doctors have experiences to share and they have connections too.”

Besides organising seminars and talks on health issues relevant to women and giving advice to doctors starting their own practices, she said that the group was planning to publish web pages and newsletters.

They are working currently with the Family Court to set up a clinic at its Paterson Road premises to help speed up the examination of family abuse victims.

Said Dr Tan, in her mid-40s: “If there was a clinic operating within the Family Court, the women may be granted a protection order immediately and so they would not be in danger anymore.

About 300 of the 1,500 women doctors registered with the Singapore Medical Council have expressed interest in joining the group.

She said: “It’s so very positive. I’m happy that they’re so enthusiastic about it. This is totally untrodden ground.”

Membership fees have not been finalised, she added, noting that these would be based on those set by similar groups overseas such as the American Medical Women’s Association.

Dr Teoh Chin Sim, 32, a pro-tem committee member and assistant director (sports medicine) at the Singapore Sports Council, said: “It both serves the public and in the long run, yourself, because you get to know people. It becomes social as well as professional, when you learn things from others.”

Dr Lisa Chin, 38, who attended the group’s meeting in August, is eager to join in the group.

The gynaecologist in private practice said: “This provides a platform for us to come forward to talk about certain topics we’re interested in, such as breast cancer or older women’s health.”

Another issue the group hopes to address is the 25 per cent quota set for females to study medicine, said Dr Tan.

Text Courtesy of The Straits Times (article dated on November 22, 1997)

Dr. Lucy Ooi, Family Physician and Founder President of AWDS.

Married to Dr Alex Ooi, consultant Gynecologist with a son, Dr Adrian Ooi, plastic surgeon and daughter Lynette Ooi-Cai, lawyer and 2 grandchildren aged 3 years & 1 year.

– Practicing as Senior Physician at National University of Singapore.
– Pianist and Singer
– Board and Council member of NAFA, Inner Wheel and some other organizations