Quirino Memorial Medical Center, a national government funded medical center under the Department of health headed by Dr. Angeles T. De leon-Medical Center Chief II, celebrates 50 fruitful and meaningful years of health and medical care delivery to the people.
More popularly known as "Labor Hospital", the QMMC formally opened its doors to the public on August 15, 1953. It was the only government hospital of its kind in Quezon City when it was first established. Its beginning forty years ago can be traced from its name which bears identification with the working force as the major beneficiary of its medical services. Its primary purpose of reaching out to the sick and infirm was achieved in line with the late President Elpidio Quirino’s social amelioration program.
Old QMMC Building
The site where the medical center stands, an approximate area of 42,000 square meters between Katipunan and J.P. Rizal east side of Project 4, Quezon City, overlooking Marikina Valley was donated to the Bureau of Hospitals by a mortgage executed by the People’s Homesite and Housing Corporation with the Philippine National Bank on December 5, 1951.
The first hospital building was constructed partly from the proceeds of the Labor Festival raised under the auspices of the Department of Labor in 1951 and partly from the Sweepstakes Fund. In April 1952, members of the International Labor and Marine Union of the Philippines, whose efforts made the establishments of the hospital possible, wanted to transfer the hospital to Isla de Balut which was easily accessible to laborers. They also requested that the hospital name be simply LABOR HOSPITAL in honor of the laborers who could easily identify with their "own" hospital. This appeal did not materialize. On November 11, 1952, the first building to be constructed was turned over by the Department of Labor to the Department of Health with the request that it be dedicated in honor of President Elpidio Quirino. The name "Quirino Labor Hospital" was inscribed on its façade.
Led by the late Dr. Facundo Ezquivel, Acting Chief of Hospital, the 75 bed capacity hospital was formally inaugurated on August 15, 1953. He was assisted by 3 Resident Physicians, 6 Nurses, 4 Attendants, 13 Operations and Maintenance Men, and Administrative Staff composed of an Administrative Officer, Cashier, a Clerk-Bookkeeper, a Property Custodian and an Information Clerk. The hospital operations embarked amidst problems and difficulties which usually beset a new undertaking.
Nurses, attendants and other personnel were mobilized to go on house-to-house visit in the vicinity to announce that the hospital was already in operation. Soon enough, there was a gradual increase in number of admissions and cases treated in the dispensary.
On October 30, 1953, Dr. Justiniano T. Mendoza, was officially appointed as Chief of Hospital and took over the administration from Dr. Facundo Esquivel, who was Senior Medical Inspector of the Bureau of Hospitals and had served in an acting capacity while the former was abroad.
In view of limitation in funding, the hospital had to be content with surplus equipment from other government entities such as the Import Control Commission, Rizal Provincial Hospital, Maternity and Childrens Hospital, San Lazaro Hospital, the Property Division of the Bureau of Hospital, and others. The Women’s Welfare Movement of Quezon City was instrumental in the loan of an old army ambulance to the hospital from the Philippine Constabulary Battalion stationed in Malacañang. Later, through the initiative of Congressman Francisco Sumulong, the hospital was able to secure the funds form the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for the purchase of a new ambulance.
Still with inadequate equipment, no surgical operations were done until December 5, 1953 when an appendectomy was performed. Because of the increasing number of patients seeking hospitalization, the second floor of the first hospital building, which initially housed some personnel, was vacated. These personnel were transferred to a row of houses leased by the People’s Homesite and Housing Corporation to the hospital. The corridor and the lobby were converted into a ward to accommodate more patients. On November 1, 1957, the increase in bed capacity from 75 to 100 was approved.
As patients continually and increasingly poured in, civic-spirited citizens saw the need to put up an additional building to serve as the Out-patient Department. Delegations headed by then Quezon City Mayor Norberto Amoranto and Quezon City Councilor Gregorio Veluz, Mrs. Portia de Vera and members of the Women’s Welfare Movement went to Malacañang to request for assistance. They presented petitions to the late President Carlos P. Garcia for funds for the construction of the Dispensary. Former Congressman Serafin Salvador also did his best and was instrumental in securing additional funds from the national government revenue. The newly constructed Out-Patient Department was inaugurated in November 25, 1958 which housed the Pharmacy, Dental, Laboratory and X-ray Service.
On June 22, 1959, the hospital was designated as a teaching/training hospital per Department Order No. 23, series of 1959. Headed by a Training Officer directly under the Medical Center Chief, this office has broadened the scope of activities of the hospital through the affiliation with private medical and nursing schools like UERMMC, FEU, De Ocampo Colleges, the Ortañes Hospital, Unciano Paramedical Colleges, the Centro Escolar University, the Philippine Muslim-Christian College of Medicine, Arellano University and Lyceum Northwestern Francisco Q. Duque Medical Foundation.
On August 15, 1964, during the hospital’s 11th Anniversary, the renaming of Labor Hospital to Quirino Memorial General Hospital was announced by virtue of Republic Act 3965 through a bill introduced by Congressman Labrido of Iloilo. The name was a well deserved tribute to the late President Elpidio Quirino whose compassion for the poor and working force has made possible the establishment of this hospital. The old name "Labor Hospital" was often times misconstrued by the general public as catering exclusively to laborers and maternity cases, thus, the most welcome change in name.
Through the years, additional buildings were constructed, a reflection of the expanding services of the hospital and the increasing patient population. The annexes now include the Surgery-EENT Building with its Operating Room, and the OB-Gyne Unit with its Delivery Room, the Medical Records and Library Building housing the Property Section and Linen Room, the Dietary Section, the Conference Hall, the Male Personnel Quarters, the Nurses Dormitory, the Multi-Purpose building built through private group efforts, the unfinished OPD Building at the Western portion, the two buildings from the Bureau of Public works and Highways for the Laboratory Section and the Pediatric Ward, and the Kiwanis club of Quezon City donated building. The latest addition is the OPD building donated by former Minister of Justice Ricardo Puno.
At the north of the hospital is the Regional Health Office No. IV, built inside the hospital compound in 1979 through arrangements between the Regional Director and the Chief of the Hospital.
Close Professional relationship among the staff was established. Coordination of activities were achieved as the two health agencies shared resources and programs such as the training, use of conference rooms for seminars and conventions, use of many equipment and machines and other facilities.
On June 10, 1983, by virtue of Batas Pambansa Blg. 442, this hospital became a tertiary regional hospital.
In 1987, upon issuance of Executive Order No. 119 recognizing the Department of Health and its attached agencies under the Honorable Secretary Alfredo Bengzon, QMMC underwent the re-organization process judiciously and smoothly to the satisfaction of the personnel.
As part of the QMMC expansion program, additional capital outlay were allocated:
On August 9, 1990, by virtue of Republic Act 6831 B40498-027, P 14,000,000.00 was released for the construction of QMMC Medical Complex, Phase I.
By virtue of RA 7078BA-0363-91-4034, another P 10,000,000.00 was released for the construction of Phase II.
The latest project is the construction of the water supply system and the repair of the old buildings under the Pump Priming Program of the President thru the Department of Health, of which QMMC is beneficiary of P 7,500,000.00 for the abovementioned purpose.
Today, the hospital has expanded to a 250-bed capacity medical center with an-increasing out-patient cases averaging to 400 daily. True to its objectives, the Quirino Memorial Medical Center, being a government-supported institution, is committed to serve all patients regardless of creed, color or socio-economic status.