Dr Noor Hisham To Retire This Month After Serving Malaysia For 35 Years

From delivering daily COVID-19 updates to advising the nation on all health-related matters, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham will be missed.

Cover image via Bernama via Berita Harian & KPKesihatan

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Health director-general (DG) Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah will be retiring this month after having served in the public health sector for 35 years

According to Harian Metro, Noor Hisham is turning 60 on 21 April, which is the mandatory retirement age for public service members.

Last Friday, 7 April, the Food Safety And Quality Division under the Ministry of Health (MOH) also commemorated the last council meeting that the DG would chair before his retirement in two weeks' time.

Dr Noor Hisham (middle) chairing the last Malaysian Food Analyst Council Meeting.

Image via Bahagian Keselamatan dan Kualiti Makanan, Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (Facebook)

Having started working as a medical officer in 1988, his impressive career will come to an end after serving as the DG for 10 years

Over the decade, he had worked with five Health Ministers:
– 2013 - 2018: Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam Sathasivam
– 2018 - 2020: Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad
– 2020 - 2021: Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba
– 2021 - 2022: Khairy Jamaluddin
– 2022 - present: Dr Zaliha Mustafa

Prior to that, he had served as the deputy DG for five years.

He has a Masters in Surgery and a Doctorate of Medicine from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). He also specialised in endocrine surgery and did training at various universities in Adelaide and Sydney, Australia.

In 2008, he attended the Advanced Management Programme at Oxford Business School in the UK.

In his 35 years of service, the most challenging period must have been the past three years when he had to lead Malaysia's response to the global health crisis caused by COVID-19.

During the time, he was also appointed to become a member or head of many health organisations, committees, and causes around the world, including World Health Organizations' (WHO) Standing Committee on Health Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (SCHEPPR).

He was also named one of the world's three top doctors by a Chinese news network for his straightforward approach in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020.

Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah at the 73rd session of the WHO's Regional Committee for the Western Pacific in Manila, the Philippines, on 27 October 2022.

Image via @DGHisham (Twitter) via CodeBlue

The father of six will be spending more time with his family after retirement

"Retirement is the next chapter of life. It's a life journey. I will cross one bridge at a time," Noor Hisham told The Star.

When the English daily asked if he will enjoy his free time now, as he is known for being a workhorse, he cheekily replied, "Let me experience retirement first and I will share with you my experience later."

Here are more stories about Noor Hisham's achievements and fun anecdotes on SAYS:

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