City of Manila

Manila’s Pontifical and Royal Campus (Part 3: the medical legacy)


As interesting as the scholastic legacy, the University of Santo Tomas also bears a noteworthy legacy to the practice of medicine in the country ever since the university first offered degrees in medicine in 1875. UST at the time did not have its own hospital for its medical students to be able to train what they’ve learned. It was decreed instead that the then 300+ old hospital of San Juan De Dios (in Intramuros near the old UST campus) be the university’s training institution for medicine.

With the onslaught of World War II in the country, the administration of San Juan De Dios Hospital was given to UST for the meantime throughout the wartime era, the end of which saw the destruction of both San Juan De Dios and the old UST in Intramuros. San Juan De Dios would be rebuilt and relocated down south to Pasay while UST’s medical program would be relocated north to the then growing Sampaloc campus.

With the need of a medical facility to meet the need of its medical student population, the University of Santo Tomas Hospital was inaugurated in 1946, first located at the back of the Main Building, eventually relocating to a complex of its own inside the campus.



UST Hospital has 2 divisions: namely, the so-called pay or private division and the clinical division AKA the charity ward. Both divisions used to be located in this building 2 blocks away from the Main Building, until the clinical division was relocated to its own building right along the Arsenio H. Lacson Avenue side of the campus.


Right across is the current home of UST’s medical programs: Medicine and Surgery, Nursing, and Rehabilitation Sciences. Built in 1952, this Bauhaus-inspired building is named after St. Martin de Porres, who in his lifetime established an orphanage and a children’s hospital. The university’s largest auditorium can also be found here.


UST Hospital in recent years has been embarking on a redevelopment and expansion plan in the midst of some heated controversy. One visible fruit of this plan so far was the inauguration of the Benavides Cancer Institute near UST Hospital, the first cancer treatment and research facility in the country. An extension building of the hospital is under construction at this time of writing.

soon to rise: UST Hospital expansion building


Then there’s also the UST Health Service Bldg., which serves the medical needs of the students, employees, and other staff of the university, located right next to Tinoco Park.

UST Health Service Bldg.
Tinoco Park, named after a university treasurer

To be continued…

Acknowledgements to the website of the University of Santo Tomas Hospital and, as always, Wikipedia.

© The Urban Roamer

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