Davao Mental Hospital to get upgrade

Jun. 17, 2009

DAVAO CITY — The 92-year old Davao Public Hospital building which currently houses the Davao Mental Hospital is set to get a much needed upgrading and facelift.

Davao Medical Center (DMC) chief Dr. Leopoldo Vega, who oversees the regional psychiatric facility, said that a 100 million-peso budget has been allotted for the upgrade which is slated to start this year. Already the third floor of the decrepit facility has been repaired.

Vega said that the Mental Hospital structure is already in a sorry state. He is particularly concerned with the electrical system of the hospital which needs immediate rewiring, citing the faulty wiring might result in a fire. Also, the hospital’s ancient septic tank needs to be declogged.

Another issue is overcrowding. The hospital, meant to accommodate 200 patients, is already holding 300. A new wing will be built at the back of the hospital to expand its capacity. Vega noted that most discharged patients are still being returned to the hospital by the family and relatives.

Citing the historical significance of the hospital being one of the oldest intact structures in Davao City, Vega says the faade will be retained and restored.

The hospital was built in 1917 as the Davao Public Hospital. During World War II, it was garrisoned by the Japanese and served as a United States Army hospital in 1945. It was renamed as the Davao General Hospital in 1946 and, in 1957, was upgraded and again renamed as the Davao Regional and Medical Training Center.

In 1964, a modern medical complex was completed and inaugurated along J.P Laurel Avenue, The regional hospital completed the transfer to its present site in 1966. The old hospital then became host to the government regional medical center’s psychiatric facility. (PIA XI)

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