Trivia about the Mary Johnston Hospital

The hospital that we are serving today began on December 10, 1906, as a small clinic, the Dispensaria Betana in a Bible School for women along Rizal Avenue in Sta. Cruz, Manila. The room was offered by the principal of the Bible school at the request of Dr. Rebecca Parish, missionary doctor from Indiana, USA.

The clinic had Dr. Parish as the doctor, and along with her were three young Filipinas loaned from the Bible School to assist her. For equipment, they had a desk, a chair with three legs, an enameled bowl, and a pitcher with most of the enamel off. As crude as the clinic was, overflowed with patients everyday. The password was simply, “May sakit po ako”.

The hospital transferred to its present site in 1908. The cost of the lot and the first building was paid from a gift of $12,500 given by Mr. Danii S.B. Johnston, a Methodist layman from St. Paul, Minnesota as a memorial for his late missionary wife, Mrs. Mary Johnston. The hospital was better known then as a maternity and children’s hospital.

At the outbreak of World War II, the hospital became an emergency hospital where the wounded from the war were hospitalized. On February 5, 1945, the hospital succumbed to the fires. All was burned except the skeleton of a concrete porch upon which still hung the sign untouched by the fire, “Mary Johnston Hospital”. To the staff, this became a symbol of things to come, that out of the ruins of what was once the hospital would arise a bigger and better hospital.

The present building was inaugurated on August 26, 1950 at which no less than the late President Elpidio Quirino was the guest speaker. T quotes from Pres. Quirino’s address at that time of the inauguration, “I wish there were more hospitals in the country that could render as much service as this hospital has rendered”.

Mary Johnston Hospital today still continues to pursue the mission of Dr. Parrish. Undaunted by the high cost of medical service, she nevertheless persists in providing the best service available. As it was in Dr. Parish’s time, MJH today accepts all who come to her, whatever color, creed, religion or political persuasion. Even with the very limited resources at hand, she strives to give the best service she can afford the reason why she has always been known for quality service. Her staff are dedicated people, committed to the cause of love expressed concretely in Devoted Service.

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