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Southern Philippines Medical Center

The section of Pediatric Surgery traces its roots to the Southern Philippines Medical Center, which was officially established in 1917. The hospital is situated in the heart of the Davao City and is the biggest tertiary hospital in Southern Mindanao with 1,200 bed capacity, it has 170 general surgery service beds, 20 pediatric surgery service beds, and 46 private beds and caters all patients throughout Mindanao. It offers a competitive quality healthcare for pediatric patients of Mindanao through its excellent subspecialty expertise in patient care.

In 1981, all pediatric surgery cases were still handled by general surgeons. As the number of pediatric surgery cases increased, the need for pediatric specialists was seen by the hospital and thus endorsed its own general surgery graduate in the person of Dr. Jose Matilac, Jr. in 1991. After finishing the Pediatric Surgery fellowship training in PCMC in 1993, Dr. Matilac became a staff of the department. He herald the birth of Pediatric Surgery in the institution. Since then, there was a myriad of directorial reorganizations in surgery department of SPMC. Pediatric surgery in-patients and outpatients were now referred and managed by a pediatric surgeon. He also shared his expertise to the residents of the department of surgery. Pediatric surgery as a specialty was weaned from general surgery. A General Pediatric Surgery Ward with a 20-bed capacity was established for all pediatric patients of the Department of Surgery. The Outpatient Department opened its doors to the public on the same year.

On 1998, Dr. Santiago Aquino, a product of PCMC training program became an active staff of the department. It was during this year that a section of pediatric surgery was created under the Department of Surgery. Since then, the volume of pediatric surgery patients referred from other departments and seen at the out-patient department increased in number. The standard of quality healthcare provided for pediatric surgical patients was elevated by the two pediatric surgeons.

Towards the second quarter of 1998, the PCS Midyear Convention was held in Davao City. Delegates from all over the country came and joined the three-day activity. That same year, Davao City hosted, for the first time, the Post-graduate course of the Philippine Society for Pediatric Surgeon, which was held here at Grand Menseng. It was a one day activity wherein invited guest speakers from the society shared their expertise in pediatric surgery. Indeed, it was a fruitful and successful activity.

Early in 2006, the section headed by Dr. Matilac and Dr. Aquino applied for accreditation for fellowship training program in Davao Medical Center. The first fellow-in-training was Dr. Neila Ferolin-Batucan. Consultant staff, Dr. Dures Fe Escarro-Tagayuna and Dr. Lito Chio, were very willing to volunteer to serve the institution and support the program. The institution was visited by the team, headed by Dr. Josefina Almonte, and members Dr. Leonardo Cua and Dr. Beda Espineda of PSPS. Unfortunately, the application was not approved since there was a lack of pediatric surgeon specialist residing in the locality and the distance of the volunteer consultants were not feasible. Dr. Neila Ferolin-Batucan was endorsed to pursue her fellowship training program in Manila.

In 2007, another surgeon in the person of Dr. Neil Alegarbes, a graduate of PCMC training program, joined the pediatric surgery section. A year later, Dr. Neila Ferolin-Batucan finished her fellowship training program in UP-PGH. The section is now complete with four team members. Thus, the children of Southern Mindanao who have surgical problems were now given the best possible care of pediatric specialists.

In recognition of the need for quality pediatric surgery care and excellent service in our institution, the pediatric surgery section, headed by Dr. Santiago Aquino, reapplied for fellowship training accreditation in 2012. The fellow-in- training was Dr. Ryan Lonzaga. With the support of the Hospital Director, Dr. Leopoldo Vega and Department of Surgery staff, the section was given a 30-bed capacity, general pediatric surgery ward. A separate operating room was dedicated for the use of pediatric surgery. The institution was visited in March 17, 2012, headed by Dr. Dures Fe Tagayuna, and members Dr. Beda Espineda and Dr. Alfredo Igama of PSPS. Fortunately, the section was officially given a Conditional Status last April 1, 2012.

J.P. Laurel Ave, Bajada, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur

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