Manila’s Pride: The Ospital ng Maynila and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila

by Willie Jose

| Photo via Ospital ng Maynila Website

The people of Manila especially the city’s poor and marginalized residents, can stand proud with their two big institutions—the Ospital ng Maynila (OM) and the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM).

Both OM and the PLM give them free medical services and university education.

Undeniably, health and education are what the people need in these challenging times.

One cold morning here in Toronto, while browsing the internet, I enjoyed reading the news about the ongoing construction of a new College of Medicine building inside the Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center compound, most popularly known as Ospital ng Maynila (OM).

What great news for all Manilans because with OM’s expanded services, they will have the benefits of getting the best Medicare care, free of charge.

Aside from putting up this College of Medicine building, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said his’ vision is to transform the six-decade-old hospital into a modern medical hub comparable with the best hospitals in Metro Manila”.

During the city’s 449th founding anniversary recently, Mayor Isko said that the 51—year-old Ospital ng Maynila would be retired and replaced by a new 10-story building; he expects the building’s completion in two years.

It’s good to know that Mayor Isko is taking the initiative to rehabilitate OM, and it’s long overdue. As the saying goes, it’s better late than never.

The nursing administrative staff of the Ospital ng Maynila—supervisors, coordinators, and head nurses—at the hospital’s main entrance in the late ’70s | Contributed Photo

A few years ago, my wife, Lilia, and I visited OM. We were saddened to see the deteriorating condition of the hospital; a patient’s relative even brought his electric fan to bring some comforts to his patient. Some of the hospital’s ceilings were partially falling off.

Some years back, I remember when the First Batch of the PLM Nursing graduates undertook a project to donate some medical supplies to the hospital. They did this initiative on learning that the hospital needed some Ambu bags, a laryngoscope, and a photocopier.

Both Lilia and Ping Nacua, PLM alumane Class ’72, visited the Philippines that year to hand these medical supplies to the hospital.

Dinia Santos said, “I remember the Ospital ng Maynila suddenly during our time. We have a lot of unforgettable memories there. It will always be part of our journey into the nursing profession.”

Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila | Screengrab from PLM Video

Irene Garcia, for her part, said, “Ospital ng Maynila was the best days of our career life, enthusiastic and young graduates.”

With the setting up of the PLM in 1967, the city’s poor but talented students had a chance to have a free university education.

Imagine what a waste of talents and abilities had these bright students not gotten a chance to better their lives, thus breaking free from the clutches of poverty.

Because the Ospital ng Maynila is both a general and training hospital, it’s the second home for most PLM students who have studied nursing, medicine, and physical therapy. They received excellent on-the-job training there.

Both OM and the PLM are in some way complement each other.

Those PLM graduates who have passed nursing, medicine, and physical therapy licensure tests, OM welcomes them to work there.

For some PLM alumni, the Ospital ng Maynila has become a part of their lives, not only because they have had their training there, but also they had their children delivered at OM.

Why would they choose OM? Well, aside from getting its free services, they feel comfortable being cared for by their PLM schoolmates and batches–these compassionate doctors and nurses.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Willie Jose is a graduate of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. He now lives in Toronto, Canada.

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