History

The History of Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center
The Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center stands unique among the hospitals of the country. It is one of the oldest hospitals in the Philippines, being founded in the Spanish times. It was founded purely from charity donations of well-meaning Chinese immigrants. And it has steadily grown in excellence, fame and service in its 112 years of existence.

One key to the hospital’s success is the backing of a strong association – the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association or PCCA. The PCCA was founded much earlier, in 1878, when a group of Chinese immigrants established the “Communidad de Chinos” or Chinese Community.

Humble Beginnings:
In the early months of 1891, Capitan Carlos Palanca Tanchueco, together with wealthy Chinese businessmen Chan Guan and Mariano Velasco were touched by the plight of their sick and poor countrymen. Together they donated and raised funds to construct a medical clinic, where treatment was free of charge. It initially catered to Chinese immigrant patients only, who were not used to western medicine and have language barrier. It later expanded into a hospital and extended its services to everybody. The charity funds came from a monthly tribute on Chinese stores and a special fee on Chinese residents coming from China to settle in the country. Two years later, the “Hospital de Chinos” was registered under the Spanish Government.

With the American Occupation of the Philippines in 1898, Capitan Tanchueco became the first Chinese Acting Consul. As time went by, Chinese residents increased and medical science progressed, thus the small Chinese hospital became inadequate. In 1917, a fund raising campaign led to the construction of the first Chinese General Hospital (CGH) with updated facilities. Chinese residents showed their strong support and the target amount of Php 200,000 was quickly reached.

By 1921, the new hospital was inaugurated with Dr. Tee Han Kee as its first medical director. Undoubtedly, the most famous Chinese physician at that time, Dr. Tee Han Kee also served as consultant for the Philippine Health Service because of his expertise on bubonic plague. In the same year, Dr. Tee Han Kee founded the Chinese General Hospital School of Nursing and saw to it that the CGH became one of the most modern hospitals in the country.

The War Years:
The Second World War wrought havoc on hospital operation because of fear of an impending Japanese invasion, the CGH Board of Directors and other prominent people were potential political prisoners of war. Mass evacuation followed. Those left behind formed the skeleton staff to keep the hospital functioning: were the Principal, the Chief Nurse, some graduates and some student nurses, two junior resident physicians, and some male helpers.

The critical period of 1945 coincided with the American Leyte landings and subsequent heavy bombardment. More than five hundred victims of sharpnels and bullets were admitted to the Chinese General Hospital, occupying all the available spaces in the corridors. The remaining hospital staff persevered and carried on with their duties.

After the war, the Chinese Community reconvened and Dr. Antonio Nubla was appointed director with Dr. Manuel Chua Chiaco Sr. as assistant director. In 1946, Mr. Go Chong Beng called for the immediate rehabilitation of the hospital by the Chinese Community. In a short span of two years, a new Charity Pavilion was constructed across the main building under the presidency of Mr. Go Kim Pah.
By 1950, memories of the war slowly faded and a refurbished CGH was inaugurated with up-to-date facilities. In the same year, Dr. Pedro Mayuga, Director of the Philippine Bureau of Medical Services of the Department of Health, approved the hospital for training and teaching. Well known consultants assisted in the hospital’s activities including Drs. Luis Guerrero, Antonio G. Sison, Jose Albert, Florencio Quintos, Rosendo R. Llamas, and Fortunato Guerrero.

 

Forging Ahead:
From the 1950s onward, there were progressive improvements in the facilities and buildings of the CGH. And because of the prevalence of Tuberculosis in the country, a Cu-Unjieng Chest Pavilion was established and inaugurated in 1953.

In 1964 Don Vicente Dy Sun Sr. took over the helm of the Philippine-Chinese Charitable Association, with Dr. Andres Cuyegkeng as the new Medical Director. Together with the triumvirate Taipan Dee K Chiong, Dee Se Kiat and Johnny Cheng, started a new era of progress and expansion. By 1967 a 100 bed Cheng Tsai Jun Memorial Charity Ward, wholly financed by Mr. Johnny Cheng was completed. In 1966 a 7-story, 500 bed ultra modern Medical Center was conceived, constructed and inaugurated in May 1969. The new Medical Center was complimented with the latest medical equipment and staffed by competent well trained specialists. At the same time it underwent a general reorganization in all levels and in all areas exclusively aimed to give maximum efficiency and efficacy of service to all. At about this time the CGH was the only private hospital to have a cardiac catheterization laboratory and an Open Heart Surgery facilities and program. In 1971, a 3-story Emergency Building was added to the back entrance of the main Medical Center Building. The unrelenting effort of Don Vicente Dy Sun Sr. continued on to built the new 6-story School of Nursing across the street of the Medical Center in 1975. Soon patients continued to overflow the entire capacity of the Medical Center thus a 6-story new Annex Building was built under the PCCA Presidency of Mr. Tuan Cheng Yu in 1983.

The then President Marcos lauded the work of the CGH and PCCA saying “It is my hope that you will continue in your splendid task, giving aid and comfort to every human being, as you have done for nearly a century, regardless of creed, race, nationality or personal persuasion.”

The 1990s began with Dr. James G. Dy as the President of the Philippine-Chinese Charitable Association and Dr. Kasian Lim was appointed as the new Medical Director. From the time when Dr. James G. Dy assumed office, this started another era of expansion, computerization and updating of medical equipments and appliances in every department. By 1996 the CGH Heart Institute was built with country’s renowned Cardiologist Dr. Dy Bun Yok as director and Dr. Manuel Chuachiaco Jr. as the Chief in Cardiovascular Surgery. As the acquisition binge of new medical equipment continued, Dr. James G. Dy and his PCCA board found it necessary in 1999 to build another 8-story modern building to house the MRI and Linear Accelerator Machines and luxury suites for patients who want to have the comfort of a five star hotel room in a hospital.

Now in the new millineum, Dr. James G. Dy and his PCCA board continue to expand its breath of charity work to particularly assist policemen, firemen and others, injured in line of duty. CGH also maintains satellite free clinic in some poor areas in Metro Manila and regularly sends medical missions to other depressed areas in the provinces. For more than a century, the PCCA through the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center, has never wavered on its noble mission: to provide help and humanitarian service to the members of the society who are in most need of them.