The Story of Chinese General Hospital Colleges, Inc

The Chinese General Hospital Colleges is a non-stock, non-profit institution founded in 1921. Its former names include Chinese General Hospital School of Nursing (1921-1979) and Chinese General Hospital College of Nursing and Liberal Arts (1980-2009). Its existence came from the initial purpose of the founder, which was to supply good nurses and quality nursing services for the Chinese General Hospital to serve the health care needs of the Filipino-Chinese community. Currently, this vision has expanded to include training and academic programs for other health science related, accountancy and entrepreneurship professions as well.

The establishment of the Chinese General Hospital School of Nursing was conceived by Dr. Jose Tee HanKee, then the Director of Chinese General Hospital (now Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center). Dr.Tee Han Kee requested assistance from the Sisters of the Immaculate Concepcion, who were based in HongKong and Canton, to start the school. The first group of Sisters arrived in Manila on August 1921. Mrs. Praxedes Tanda Co Tui, a graduate nurse of the Philippine General Hospital, was appointed first Principal of the Chinese General Hospital School of Nursing.

The School of Nursing was inaugurated on August 2, 1921, and was granted government recognition by the Department of Public Instruction on August 10, 1923. It produced its first four graduates of the Graduate Nurse program in 1923. At the end of the Japanese occupation and World War II in 1945, the great task of slow but steady rebuilding and rehabilitation took place for the school which was damaged during the war. Much of what was accomplished during the post-war period was in response to the growing need for healthcare services and, alongside it, education and training. On March 4, 1946, the Department of Instruction issued another government recognition for the school to conduct the Graduate Nurse program.

In 1975, the new six-storey building for the School of Nursing was completed through the chairmanship of Dr. Vicente Dy Sun, Sr. With it, the curricular offering shifted from a Graduate Nurse Program to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program. In 1980, the school changed its name to Chinese General Hospital College of Nursing and Liberal Arts. A year after, on September 16, 1981, government recognition was granted by the Ministry of Education and Culture to offer the baccalaureate program, which permitted the consortium with De La Salle University to handle Liberal Arts subjects from 1981 to1986.

As the College continues to grow, innovations and improvements were constantly put in place. From 2002to 2009, a series of renovations of the six-storey building were spearheaded by then Executive Director Dr. King King Tan to keep the teaching-learning facilities and equipment upgraded. Classrooms were piped with air conditioning units to block out street noise and summer heat. Art and science laboratories were refurbished. All modernization efforts were made possible with the strong support of the administration, alumni, and benefactors, such as Equitable PCI Bank Foundation, Inc., Maxicare Healthcare Corporation, and other kind donors who believed in the College’s educational goals.

Keeping up with the need to be relevant and responsive, the College was renamed Chinese General Hospital Colleges in 2010 with the intention of expanding its program offerings. That same year marked the groundbreaking for the construction of a 12-storey building with a three-storey annex, fronting the existing six-storey school edifice. The ceremony was led by the President and Chairman of the Board Dr. James Dy. This 12-storey building features bigger office spaces, conference and classrooms, laboratories, audio visual rooms, and auditorium. Whereas, the three-storey annex houses multipurpose function area, dining accommodation, and skills laboratory extension.

In 2012, the College was granted permission by the Commission on Higher Education to commence programs for Diploma in Midwifery, Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology, and Bachelor of Science in Psychology. A year after, the Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology program followed suit.

The Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy program obtained its permit to operate in 2016 but it officially started its first student admissions in 2018. The pause was brought about by the absence of enrollees entering tertiary education during the transition period of the government’s K-12 education. The Doctor of Medicine and Senior High School - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Strand programs accepted their first batch of students in 2017, whereas Caregiving National Certificate (NC) II course opened admission in 2018. The Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and the Bachelor of Science in Management Accounting programs obtained their government permits last April 20, 2022, and were authorized to operate effective academic year 2022-2023.

With minimal tuition fee, flexible payment scheme, academic scholarships, personalized instruction, qualified educators, state-of-the-art own and exclusive tertiary base hospital, employment opportunities, and well supportive alumni association and administrative board, the College continues to provide quality education at an affordable cost.

On its centennial year, the College has progressed from its humble birth to become one of the top performing schools on Nursing program in the Philippines, bestowed by the Professional Regulation Commission. Its newer degree programs in Medical Technology, Psychology, Radiologic Technology, Physical Therapy, Midwifery and Caregiving, Senior High School, Accountancy, Management Accounting, Entrepreneurship, and Medicine all equally showing promise and steadily earning prestige as well. Concrete plans are on the way to further enhance and enforce its programs as the College heads towards the direction of becoming a university in the near future. With a team of dedicated and driven individuals in the hind and forefront, the College dares to dream big. It has endured the ebb and flow of times and etched its mark in education. It has avowed to continue its legacy of resilience, service, and excellence in the years to come.

Reference: CGHC@100: A Legacy of Resilience, Service, and Excellence
By: Iris Chua So, RN, MAN, PhD