History of the Singapore Society of Rheumatology(SSR)

The present day SSR has its beginnings in 1976 when the 3rd Congress of the South East Asia and Pacific League Against Rheumatism (SEAPAL) was held in Singapore from 22-25 February. This congress was organised by many of the members of the sponsoring Academy of Medicine, Singapore, and the entire sum of over SGD 40,000 earned was donated to the Academy. These members then founded the Singapore Society of Immunology and Rheumatology (SSIR) later that year.  

During the initial years, the presidents and committee members worked tirelessly to increase local interest, education and research in rheumatology and immunology. Many internationally renowned rheumatologists were invited to speak in continuing medical education (CME) events, several of which were organised together with the Chapter of Physicians, Academy of Medicine, Singapore. The Singapore Ministry of Health also lent support by sponsoring medical officers and trainees for the various CME activities.

1977 June: SSIR became a member of SEAPAL (South East Asia and Pacific League Against Rheumatism)

1987: First Annual Scientific Meeting organised.

These annual scientific meetings became a tradition for the next decade.

1990 January: The society is renamed Singapore Society of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology (SSIAR)

1993 October: SSR co-organised  the 4th ASEAN Congress of Rheumatology with the Rheumatism Association of ASEAN (RAA) from 31 October – 4 November.

1997 June: SSR co-organised the 19th International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) Congress of Rheumatology in Singapore 8-13 June.

1998 May:  First Workshops in Rheumatology organised conjointly with the Malaysian Society of Rheumatology

In May 1998, the presidents of the Singapore Society of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology (Dr Chng Hiok Hee) and the Malaysian Society of Rheumatology  (Dr Kiran Verrapen) organised the first conjoint Workshops in Rheumatology in Langkawi. The Workshops catered to 3 groups: primary care physicians, physicians and rheumatologists. Since its inception, this annual event has been hosted alternately by Singapore and Malaysia. This meeting has brought members of both societies closer together through fostering education, training and research.

2000 July: The inaugural Feng Pao Hsii Lecture was delivered

2005 January: The Society was renamed the Singapore Society of Rheumatology (SSR) after a separate society for Allergy/Immunology [Allergy and Clinical Immunology Society Singapore (ACIS)] was established

2018: Establishment of the Feng Pao Hsii Scholarship fund which supports 2 awards; the  Feng Pao Hsii-Singapore Society of Rheumatology-Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology (FPH-SSR-APLAR) Fellowship Grant and the Feng Pao Hsii (FPH) Educational Grant