Founded in 1910 by three leaders of the Cantonese community to provide free medical care for clan members from Guangdong province, Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital was at first a Traditional Chinese Medicine outfit with just one physician in attendance. The hospital was granted the use of part of the former Tan Tock Seng Hospital grounds, which spanned six acres (2.4 hectares) and included three colonial buildings.
The hospital added a maternity ward, hostel and kitchen in 1954, while the front block that greets visitors today was built in 1958. From the very beginning, outpatient services were available to all, but inpatient facilities were restricted to people of Cantonese origin until 1974, when the hospital's constitution was amended to allow people of all origins to be admitted. A Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) centre opened in 2004 to provide TCM care such as acupuncture and cupping for a token fee. There is also a nursing home for the elderly requiring long term care.
The KWSH Heritage Gallery was set up in April 2018 to share the history of Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital. The gallery aims to preserve the hospital’s rich heritage and inspire future philanthropy. It is housed in a landmark of Singapore’s colonial and medical history - the former Tan Tock Seng wards built in the 1850s, at Block D in Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital and is open on weekdays from 10am to 5pm.