Our Philippine General Hospital (PGH) experience

January 24, 2024

Sharing our experience when we recently went to Philippine General Hospital (PGH) for a medical procedure.

A few months ago, Miguel’s neuro-developmental pediatrician asked us to do bloodwork to rule out a suspected condition. However, that procedure was only available at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). After inquiring about the procedure, we were informed by the PGH Hematology Laboratory that we didn’t need an appointment for it. Even so, we were told – or rather, warned – that we needed to be at the hospital early because lines can get really long as early as 5:30 AM. Plus, they impose a cut-off right after lunchtime so that put a little pressure on us since we were coming all the way from Novaliches. Nonetheless, we took that advice from the Hematology Lab as a foreboding of what to expect at PGH.

Our Philippine General Hospital (PGH) experience

Our Philippine General Hospital (PGH) experience


Of course, we have a picture of what PGH is all about because of information from the media. Just the same, I asked around from my colleagues who’ve had previous experiences at PGH about what to expect during our visit. First, I was told to be there early if I wanted to get a slot in the parking area. Second, expect a big crowd, from the entrance to the hallways and every corridor. Third, expect to get lost because of the busy buzz everywhere.

When the day of Miguel’s bloodwork arrived, we left early to avoid the traffic and to hopefully secure a parking slot. However, we got lost right after we passed by Intramuros, so we had to pass through alternative routes. Long story short, we arrived at PGH way passed our target time, as such, the free parking was full. As an alternative, we went to Robinsons Manila, where the parking area opens way before mall hours (6:00 AM, if I’m not mistaken). Depending on the number of hours, the parking fee can go as high as P650++ but since we had no other choice, we settled for the paid parking area at Robinsons Manila.

From Robinsons Manila, we walked back to PGH. From the hospital entrance, we were greeted by sick people on hospital beds, wheelchairs, and mats. I thought that I was ready for PGH but the situation is a lot more pitiful when you see it with your own eyes. PGH is actually one of the top-tier hospitals in the country and a cradle to many brilliant minds in the medical profession but it’s hard to see that because of the sorry state the hospital is in.

I hope the government can do reforms to improve facilities and medical care in PGH. In a way, PGH is a microcosm of the state of government healthcare in the country – dire and desperately needing improvement. It’s depressing to think how many people are deprived of medical attention because of a lack of facilities in government hospitals in the local and district levels. Filipinos have no choice but to flock to larger hospitals like PGH where they are not always assured of quality medical service because of the sheer volume of people.

Big salute also to the PGH employees. With the number of people that they are dealing with, I know many of them are overworked. Still, they manage to remain patient if they have to repeat to people what to do several times. There was one lady who I saw was already getting irritated but she managed to remain respectful to the patients.

Anyway, going back to Miguel’s bloodwork, we had to go to three different departments before we were able to find the correct laboratory where it would be done. Surprisingly, after paying the fee, the queue to the lab was bearable and the turnaround was fast. When it was our turn, the lab technicians were also patient in answering our questions and ensuring that Miguel was comfortable during the procedure.

We were actually done by lunchtime and had a bit more time to take the kids to Robinsons Manila. We were told by the lab attendant that we could call them after a week to check if the results were already available. Well, it was indeed already available when we called them after a week. We picked up the result soon after and we were thankful that it was encouraging.

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If you need to get in touch with the Hematology Department of PGH, you may call the hospital's trunkline number at (02) 8554 8400 and ask the operator to connect you to Hematology.

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