Doctor’s important legacy for the next generation

09 Nov 2022

Dr Anthony Poon has enjoyed a fulfilling career as an anaesthetist at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Melbourne, specialising in thoracic, upper gastrointestinal colorectal, shoulder, ENT and ophthalmic surgery. He is also the Chair of the Hospital’s Medical Advisory Committee, which provides advice to the CEO, Board and Medical Director on medical matters.

Since joining the St Vincent’s team in 1995, Dr Poon has worked in partnership with thoracic surgeons, Associate Professor Gavin Wright and Mr Naveed Alam. Together with their team of nurses and support staff, they have tackled thousands of complex surgeries.  

“I really enjoy my work because it includes consistently technically challenging procedures. Our patients are often very unwell and we give them the opportunity to be cured. We mitigate the risks to as low as possible for patients from all over Victoria and interstate,” Dr Poon said.

Highlights of this two-decade partnership include the opportunity to travel overseas to perform transformative key-hole and reconstructive surgery for people in underprivileged communities. Dr Poon’s volunteer work also saw him join a colleague, ophthalmologist, Dr Lance Liu and a team of 150 others in Cambodia to perform a marathon 600 eye surgeries in six days, having a massive impact on local communities in the Asia Pacific region.

Dr Poon said the experience will stay with him forever. “It was not only thrilling to be a part of such an ambitious project, but it was rewarding to be able to give eyesight back. Plus, the comradery really enriched the experience.” 

Image caption: Dr Anthony Poon and Dr Lance Liu in Cambodia 

An exciting change is coming

Dr Poon has seen a lot of change at St Vincent’s over the past 20 years. Right now, there is one very big change he is particularly excited about. So much so, he’s choosing to support it with his own money. His gift will be celebrated with the naming of a hospital room.

“We spend so much of our time at St Vincent’s, it feels good to help and to give back to a hospital that has helped and supported me and so many others,” Dr Poon said.

St Vincent’s Private Hospital Fitzroy campus is undergoing a major development. Construction has commenced on a brand-new $180 million tower that will provide care for an additional 20,000 patients in the State.  It will also increase opportunities for research and attract greater clinical expertise to the Hospital.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for St Vincent’s, for our teams and for our patients. Considering the hospital is now over 80-years old, this is the ideal time to upgrade. The new development will continue the great work of our medicos and carry on the legacy of our nursing staff and teams. It’s an opportunity to access some of the best equipment and build on our core group of specialists by attracting the best and brightest.

“This project will transform St Vincent’s into a true medical precinct. We’re creating a world-class facility where everything is located in the one spot – including research opportunities with the construction of the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery and a commercial enterprise building. I’m very excited to be a part of it!”

Image caption: Dr Anthony Poon and Dr Anita Clarke, a Senior Urologist at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Melbourne.

It was the opportunity to leave a legacy that compelled Dr Poon to support the project financially. “I’ve spent a significant portion of my career at St Vincent’s. It will be great to leave a legacy, and to contribute to the next chapter in St Vincent’s history.”

Dr Poon is keen to inspire his colleagues to join him in supporting this ambitious project.

“It’s interesting, once you do something philanthropic, people see you differently because you’re giving back and not just working for yourself.

“This is our chance to not only contribute to the future of medicine, but having your name on a plaque means you’re able to remain a part of the hospital long after you’ve retired.”

To find out more about this exciting project and how you can be involved please contact: Cameron Smith, St Vincent's Foundation's Campaign Director on 0431 079 906 or


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