The saga of DDH: 40 Years of Healthcare Leadership

FOUR decades after it opened as a pharmacy and a clinic, Davao Doctors Hospital remains as the leading healthcare provider in Davao City, providing only the best service, equipment, and expertise in Mindanao.
Complemented by state-of-the-art equipment and amenities, Davao Doctors Hospital is a standing beacon of medical expertise in Davao City and the rest of Mindanao.
Would you believe that this modern complex with a 10 storey medical tower and 5-storey, state-of-the-art tertiary hospital started out as a mere pharmacy with clinics in 1966, carrying the name Clinica Hilario, Inc.?
Dr. Honorio Hilario, a clinical practitioner and proprietor of Botica Villa, a small drugstore located along Claveria (now C.M. Recto) Street), invited Dr. Luisito Guanlao, a neurosurgeon, to set up a clinic inside the pharmacy since it was more practical and lucrative to have a clinic near a pharmacy in those days. Later, the thought of having a doctor’s clinic near a drugstore looked promising which led to other specialists setting up their offices one after the other, namely: Dr. Herminio Villano, Dr. Carmen Guanlao, Dr. Juan Belisario, Dr. Benigno Magpantay, Dr. Romeo Mahinay, Dr. Pacita San Vicente, Dr. Augusto Abela, and Dr. Eufracio Hilario. Dr. Jose Gantioqui, the only radiologist in Mindanao at the time, relocated his x-ray machine at Clinica Hilario, Inc.
In 1965, the Clinica Hilario Laboratory was established with Dr. German Castillo. Other incorporators began joining the group after being sold to the idea of a hospital housing doctors’ clinics. In 1969, Davao Doctors Hospital ushered in the birth of quality healthcare service in Davao City and its neighboring provinces.
Surprisingly, the public immediately expressed full support for the new hospital with corporate accounts for health and wellness constantly increasing within the first year of the hospital’s operations.
In 1973, the bed capacity of the hospital increased to 108 with the conversion of some rooms into wards while hospital facilities were continually upgraded with the purchase of equipment for the intensive care unit.
The neighboring 1,200-square meter property of Roman Joaquin was acquired by the hospital as a result of the growing demand for more hospital space and beds.
Davao Doctors Hospital aggressively expanded horizontally in the years that followed with its acquisition of surrounding properties for the construction of a 5-storey Annex building.
Diversifying its portfolio, yet remaining true to its commitment of providing quality healthcare for its clients, Davao Doctors Hospital opened its nursing school in 1975.
The hospital, like any other business institution, also experienced trying times. Due to the unstable economic conditions the country experienced at the start of the 1980’s, the purchase of high-end, sophisticated machines and gadgets had to be held in abeyance while resigned personnel in some non-sensitive areas were not immediately replaced. In 1982, there was a reduction in terms of occupancy rate from 84.48% to 75.55%, resulting in the drop of the net income to 57%.
However, with the full trust and confidence of Dabawenyos in the hospital, the management of Davao Doctors Hospital saw to it that only the best equipment was acquired, thus the constant upgrading of laboratory equipments and other facilities, like x-rays, ultra sound, and other equipment for gastrology and cardiology, despite the economic crisis.
To ensure that efficient service was constantly provided, the finance and administration departments of the DDH underwent upgrading of their operating system through the use of the more technologically capable IBM system in 1986 along with elevators in the annex building.
Not resting on its laurels, the DDH acquired in August 1990 a Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) Scan, the most sophisticated and ultimate at the time among imaging machines. It was the first and only one of its kind in Mindanao.
Fully committed to the improvement of the healthcare industry in Davao City and the rest of the Mindanao region, the hospital invested in several new equipments in 1997. The investment did not only bring Davao Doctors Hospital to the forefront of the medical industry in Mindanao, it also boosted the confidence of the people in the capability of the hospital to providr quality healthcare.
Maintaining the status as the best in Davao City and Mindanao, Davao Doctors Hospital invested heavily in more equipments like an MRI, Ultrasound, Echocardiogram, Hematology Analyzer Coulter, a Siemens Sireshop X-ray, and respirators.
The hospital has proven that nothing is impossible and that there can only be growth for the healthcare industry of Davao City. This was shown by management when it decided to construct a ten-storey medical tower which changed the skyline of Davao City and, more importantly, improved the quality of healthcare available in the city.
Boasting of posh clinics and a glass façade, the medical tower of Davao Doctors Hospital is its beacon of leadership in the healthcare sector. No other single structure in the entire region houses as many medical professionals whose lines of expertise are beyond reproach.
It may have seemed that that Davao Doctors Hospital had reached its peak of performance and service when it built its 10-storey tower, but it was merely the beginning of things yet to come.
In 2000, Davao Doctors Hospital became the first private tertiary hospital in the region to have acquired international recognition for excellence in service, total quality healthcare, and quality education when it was awarded an ISO 9001 Certification in December 9, 2000. The hospital delivered on its certification and was later upgraded to ISO 9001:2000 in March 27, 2002, and maintained its status in 2003.
Medical practitioners from all over Mindanao have opted to practice at Davao Doctors Hospital as it continues to rival the best in hospitals not only in Metro Manila but also other hospitals in the ASEAN region.
Enticing more doctors to practice at Davao Doctors Hospital, management paved the way for the acquisition of a P18.5 million Cath Lab in 2003. Another first in Mindanao, the Cath Lab shows that Davao Doctors Hospital is a center of excellence where experts are complemented by the best technology available.
Being the undisputed leader in the industry, Davao Doctors Hospital eventually gained larger prospects when one of the largest conglomerates in the country, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, obtained 34 percent of the hospital’s shareholdings. The leading hospital of Mindanao was then taken into the fold of MPIC headed by Manuel V. Pangilinan.
With over 250 beds and the most modern diagnostic, therapeutic, and intensive care facilities, Davao Doctors Hospital remains the leader in all medical specialties, including cardiovascular medicine, gastroenterology and endocrinology, orthopedics, neurology and neurosurgery, cancer, ophthalmology, and digestive and liver diseases.
The future looks bright for Davao Doctors Hospital as MPIC vows to bring in the expertise and commitment to excellence it is best known for.
Now at 40, DDH is an institution reborn. We now begin our quest for greater success in making a significant impact on the lives of all Filipinos here in Mindanao. We will continue to make a difference by improving the quality of life of all our patients. We commit ourselves to this noble task; we can do no less because, here at DDH, We Care for Life.