Public Service & Law

Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

Malaysia’s foremost healthcare leader, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah is responsible for the country’s public healthcare system


Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah is Malaysia’s famed Director-General of Health who gained nationwide and international recognition in leading the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Noted for his calm and straightforward approach in handling the pandemic, he was named as one the world’s top three doctors alongside the USA’s Dr Anthony Fauci and New Zealand’s Dr Ashley Bloomfield by China Global TV Network (CGTN).

A senior consultant surgeon in breast and endocrine surgery in Putrajaya Hospital, Abdullah obtained his medical degree and Master of Surgery from the National University of Malaysia. Choosing to specialise in breast and endocrine cancers, he trained in breast and endocrine surgery under the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Fellowship. He has published several papers and contributed to textbook chapters on endocrine surgery, and in 2020 he was elected as Chairman of the Asian Association of Endocrine Surgeons.

On an international level, Abdullah is actively involved as a policy maker in the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDI). For his contribution towards healthcare, in 2018, he was awarded the prestigious Fellowship Ad Hominem of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. In 2019, he delivered the distinguished Martin Allgöwer Lecture at the 48th World Congress of Surgery. More recently, he was awarded the BrandLaureate Award for outstanding brand leadership by The World Brands Foundation for his leadership during the pandemic.

Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah is married to Nik Suwaida Nik Mohyideen and has six children.

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Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah was born to a Malaysian Chinese family, and was initially raised by his single mother before poverty led to his adoption by a Malay family. He would later marry his adoptive family’s daughter, Nik Suwaida. 

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