Published on
17 January 2023

The San Pedro Hospital is a critical resource for the population of Davao City in the Philippines. The city, which is the largest on the island of Mindanao, only has nine hospital beds for every 10,000 people and that number is even lower in other parts of the island. These scarce healthcare services are further strained by conflict, natural disasters, and a high prevalence of conditions such as tuberculosis, dengue, and now COVID-19.

As such, the San Pedro Hospital, which was founded by the Dominican Sisters of the Trinity in 1948 and is still operated by the religious congregation, is an essential lifeline for the thousands of patients that seek its services every year. Unfortunately, its emergency room, with only seven beds, is limited in its capacity to receive patients in a safe and comforting environment, and a Department of Health assessment concluded that it does not meet its requirements for a basic emergency complex.

Donors, including Canadian religious congregations, wanted to respond to the urgent need to renovate the first floor of the hospital so staff can provide quality healthcare to their patients. The $1.5 million major renovations will not only upgrade the emergency room, but will also modernize the outpatient unit, the lobby and the pharmacy. The Roncalli Foundation is overseeing the management of the project.

The end result will be an emergency room big enough to treat more patients; a comfortable waiting area that can accommodate the elderly and people with disabilities; a separate entrance for trauma patients that provides more privacy; and a separate entrance and section for patients needing isolation.

The hospital, which was also hindered by a lack of funding due to the COVID-19 pandemic, received an additional boost at the end of the year, with emergency support in the amount of $3.9 million to help cover the costs of equipment and staff salaries so that the hospital could continue to provide care to some of the poorest people in the region.

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