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The Business of Giving: Going Beyond The Gala With Dr Ganesh Ramalingam

Dr Ganesh Ramalingam gives us a glimpse into the philanthropic efforts he undertakes with his team at G&L Surgical and the meaning he finds in it.

It started in his formative years as living on a farm embedded in him a sense of camaraderie – a quality truly symbolic of the kampung spirit that many Singaporeans are familiar with. As a doctor, the nature of his profession itself is an embodiment of selflessness. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Dr Ganesh invests a significant amount of his time and services into the community and environment.

Heading G&L Surgical, a private practice nestled in Mount Elizabeth Hospital specialising in multiple surgeries and procedures such as Gastrointestinal and Laparoscopic Surgery, is one of the many ways his medical practice enables him to support communities far and wide. With a deep-seated belief that philanthropy goes beyond a glitzy charity gala, Dr Ganesh dives deep into the business of giving through building a human-to-human connection with his patients.

Finding Meaning and Purpose In Philanthropy

The seed of philanthropic work has its roots in human relationships for Dr Ganesh. First having served as a Commando Medical Officer during National Service, his commitment to giving back continues on as he brings his medical expertise to his love for football. Over a duration of 15 years, Dr Ganesh has worked extensively with the Football Association of Singapore Medical Committee to be a match doctor for the Singapore National Team as well as draft proposals on medical and safety procedures.

Having graduated from the National University of Singapore in 1997, Dr Ganesh went on to complete his postgraduate training and fellowship with the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. Following that, he moved into private practice after years of working in government hospitals, eventually heading the G&L Surgical Clinic. Going back to his personal philosophy, Dr Ganesh leads his private practice specialising in gastrointestinal and laparoscopic procedures with a focus on building meaningful relationships with his clients.

With a desire for more personal and purposeful experiences both locally and abroad, Dr Ganesh volunteered medical aid at the aftermath of the Banda Aceh tsunami in 2004. He later went on to volunteer his services at the Yogyakarta earthquake back in 2006 as well.

“It changes your universe,” Dr Ganesh reflects. “Not only are you helping them, they’re helping you. They opened my eyes to the most important thing in life: Family.”

Paying It Forward

His life-changing experiences have propelled him to pay it forward and continue the chain of gratitude locally in Singapore as well. On top of volunteering with a church that supports children from single-parent households, Dr Ganesh and his team also provide free health talks and conducts games for them, in hopes of inspiring the children there. With A Packet Of Rice, a movement that provides for needy residents and senior citizens in rental flats, Dr Ganesh and his family volunteer their time by distributing warm meals.

Dr Ganesh’s philanthropic efforts go beyond human relationships. His work in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative as well as donations to the clean water program are some of the ways he adopts a practice of giving back to the community and extending his social impact.

“You might not make a change today or tomorrow, but you’ll see it in years to come.” More than just giving back to society, volunteering with his medical expertise is one way Dr Ganesh Ramalingam sees a valuable social impact when it comes to influencing and encouraging the younger generation to pay it forward.

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