Singapore O&G Taps Accelerating Healthcare Demand

Date: February 17, 2021


A high-energy, results-focused leader, Eric Choo enjoys connecting people by stimulating their tastebuds.

“I can’t cook, but I appreciate good food, and I’m very adventurous with different cuisines,” the Chief Executive Officer of SGX-listed healthcare services provider Singapore O&G Ltd (SOG) said with a laugh.

“Food has the power to forge and improve relationships, and I enjoy bringing people together over a table of food.”

Choo, who has spent 10 years of his career in the healthcare industry, was appointed CEO of SOG in February 2020. The 40-year-old was the Group’s former Chief Financial Officer, and one of the key executive officers during its initial public offering (IPO) in 2015. During his first tenure with SOG between 2014 and 2018, he was also involved in the Group’s operational and administrative matters.

Prior to joining SOG, Choo was an Audit Senior Manager with KPMG LLP, with a decade of professional experience working as an auditor in both Singapore and the US, providing audit and assurance services to publicly listed companies.

A Bachelor of Business in Accountancy graduate from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Choo is also a member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants and CPA Australia.

Choo is happy that he has come full circle. “I’ve always worked well with SOG’s founders and the Board, and it feels good to come back to contribute to the Group’s growth vision.”

Established since 2011 and listed on SGX Catalist since 2015, SOG focuses on delivering premier medical, health and wellness services to both women and children.

With a long and established track record in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) segment, which provides pre-pregnancy counselling, delivery, pregnancy and post-delivery care, the Group has expanded its spectrum of services to include gynaecological and breast cancers, skin and aesthetic treatments, as well as paediatrics.

SOG’s clinics, which are strategically located throughout Singapore, operate under its four business segments of O&G, Cancer-related, Dermatology and Paediatrics.

Debunking Myths

There’s room to grow SOG’s operations further, by organic as well as inorganic means, Choo said. “We’re looking at bringing in new patients to generate higher revenues, as well as expanding the business beyond the current four business segments, focusing on synergistic fields related to the Group’s vision of caring for women’s and children’s health.”

He is keen to debunk the misconception that SOG is all about childbirths. “There is a perception that SOG just delivers babies, and given Singapore’s low birth rates – at 39,000 babies per year over the last few years – investors are worried that we are in a sunset industry.”

“But don’t forget that SOG caters to the health of the female reproductive system, and that is a whole life cycle ranging from fertility planning and pregnancy to diseases of the reproductive organs including gynaecological surgeries,” he pointed out. “Beyond O&G, we also have three other business segments – Cancer-related, Dermatology and Paediatrics.”

The Group’s O&G segment accounted for close to 55% of total revenues in 2019, and its O&G specialists deliver almost 9% of all private hospital deliveries in Singapore, according to estimates by KGI Securities.

Geographical expansion may also be on the cards for SOG. “The domestic market is small and extremely competitive. We’re interested in expanding beyond Singapore, and for a start, will explore the potential of neighbouring markets,” Choo added.

While Singapore remains a key medical tourist destination in Asia thanks to its superior service quality and standards of medical care, foreign patient growth may slow on the back of competition from regional countries. However, broader industry growth prospects remain well-supported by increasing affluence, ageing populations, as well as the rise of lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension.

As a result of COVID-19 and the suspension of non-essential medical services in Singapore during the Circuit Breaker, SOG posted a net profit after tax of S$3.8 million, down 21.4% year-on-year, for the six months ended 30 June 2020. Revenue declined 4.2% to S$17.9 million for the period.

Looking ahead, the Group aims to constantly improve and adapt its medical services to cater to changing healthcare trends, prevalence of chronic illnesses and mutation of diseases.

On the Cutting-Edge

With this goal in mind, SOG invests in and equips its doctors with the right tools and opportunities to constantly upgrade their skills, as well as adopt the latest medical practices and cutting-edge technologies.

“Keeping abreast of technological changes is another way to remain competitive,” Choo said. “For example, we rolled out telehealth consultations during the Circuit Breaker, and we’re using a cloud-based system for patient records so that doctors can access the information on the move.”

SOG also has a mentorship programme in place to attract and retain specialist talent in the Group, so as to boost the quality of patient care and its brand reputation.

“We’re fortunate to have two renowned O&G founding specialists in our Group and other senior doctors who can help mentor, groom and motivate the junior doctors – our culture is what sets us apart and is our key differentiating feature.”

In addition, Choo is crafting a long-term incentive plan to retain doctors within the Group. “This ensures our doctors feel appreciated and are given the opportunity to participate in the success of SOG. We’ll be looking to implement this share option plan in the new financial year,” he added.

As a result, there is much to keep Choo up till the wee hours. “I do worry about the Group’s operations and prospects,” he admitted. “We need to keep moving forward – if we stop thinking about developing the business and scaling it, growth will come to a standstill.”

Being a results-oriented person, Choo gets a high from a positive outcome, be it large or small. “Outcomes inspire and motivate me to do better,” he said. Not surprisingly, commitment, responsibility, and integrity are some of his biggest touchstones.

“When it comes to making decisions, right or wrong is not as important as taking responsibility for your actions, being committed, and going the extra mile to find a solution to fix the issue,” he added.

Singapore O&G Ltd

Established since 2011, SOG is a leading healthcare services provider dedicated to delivering premier medical services for women’s and children’s health and wellness. With a long and established track record in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) segment in Singapore, which provides pre-pregnancy counselling, delivery, pregnancy and post-delivery care, the Group has expanded its spectrum of services to include gynaecological and breast cancer, skin and aesthetic treatments, as well as paediatrics. The Group’s clinics, under its four operating segments of O&G, Cancer-Related, Dermatology and Paediatrics, are strategically located throughout Singapore to provide easy access for patients.

The company website is:

Click here for the company’s StockFacts page.

For the six months ended 30 June 2020 financial results, click here.


First published on SGX website on 5 February 2021

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Text: Jennifer Tan-Stanisic
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