Former Communicable Disease Centre

Also known as orh sai, or “black lion” in Hokkien (referring to the black lion emblem and statues at the hospital’s entrance) by the locals, the Communicable Disease Centre, or CDC in short, had a long history dated back in 1913 when it was constructed along Moulmein Road.

Its predecessor was the Government Infectious Disease Camp, established by the British government in 1907 to fight against outbreaks of infectious diseases such as cholera, malaria and typhoid.

The Government Infectious Disease Camp was later added with more buildings and amenities, becoming a full hospital in-charged by Dr William Robert Colvin Middleton (1863-1921), a British medical officer who worked in Singapore for 27 years. The hospital was renamed Middleton Hospital in 1920, after Dr William Middleton’s return to Bexhill, England.

The hospital and its premises were designed by David McLeod Craik, the Municipal Commission’s architectural assistant. Most of the buildings in the spacious compound of the hospital were single-storey, and operated mostly as wards. The hospital facilities underwent renovation and upgrading in the mid-eighties and 2003.

Middleton Hospital was incorporated into Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) in 1985 as the Department of Communicable Disease (DCD). In 1992, the restructuring of Tan Tock Seng Hospital saw the merging of its two departments in DCD and the Tuberculosis Control and Epidemiology to become the Communicable Disease Centre (CDC).

CDC, however, would come under the purview of the Ministry of Health (MOH) until 1995 when it was handed over to Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s administration.

In December 2018, the Communicable Disease Centre was closed after more than a century of medical services. It would be replaced by the new National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) situated at Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s Integrated Care Hub.

The old premises of the former Communicable Disease Centre would be subsequently demolished for future residential redevelopment.

Published: 26 December 2018

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