Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital (KWSH) was established in 1910 by Chinese immigrants from Guangzhou, Huizhou, and Zhaoqing prefectures as Kwong Wai Shiu Free Hospital (KWSFH). The colonial government had requested that Chinese immigrant communities begin establishing their own medical facilities, likely to ease pressure on the state-run ones. Two Cantonese leaders, Wong Ah Fook and Leong Man Sau, met with representatives from Guangzhou, Huizhou, and Zhaoqing to establish a free hospital for their fellow immigrants, based on an existing free hospital in Guangzhou. They managed to collect $100,000 in funding and secured the location where the 2nd iteration of Tan Tock Seng Hospital sat.
KWSFH offered free consultations, treatments, and hospitalization for all immigrants from Guangzhou, Huizhou, and Zhaoqing and was one of the first to offer both western medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatments. They operated a maternity ward from the beginning, and was the only other hospital besides Kandang Kerbau Hospital to offer maternity and natal services to needy families. They also helped patients arrange their funerals, providing free funerals for those who died at the hospital, and even arranging for graves and plaques for unclaimed dead bodies.
During WWII, the hospital continued to operate, despite being damaged by bombs and the Japanese Occupation. Following the war, KWSFH resumed operation, and began organizing fundraisers. A large amount of funds was raised between 1951 and 1960, with the funds used to cover the costs of 12 new buildings and renovations to the maternity ward.
In 1975, the hospital opened its doors to all patients, regardless of race or religion. At the same time, the hospital was renamed to its current name, Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital. As Singapore’s population continues to age, KWSH plans to expand its facilities to have 400 beds in its nursing home and 200 in its community hospital.