Today, JRRMMC is one of the outstanding hospitals in the country, known for its exceptional medical service, training, and research. Yet it has also established itself as the prime facility for indigent patients, providing the same quality of service. Since its inception, the hospital has been providing quality healthcare to millions of Filipinos, regardless of economic status. Undoubtedly, it will continue to do so in many years to come.
At 75, JRRMMC has truly lived up to the vernacular phrase – "Gamu-gamong naging lawin."
From being a lowly 100-bed capacity hospital, it has grown significantly over the years and is now poised to become a world-class medical facility.
José R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center's operations started in 1945 in Manila, Philippines as a 100-bed facility known as City Children's Hospital, housed in a borrowed school building and was managed by Dr. Fe del Mundo. It was transformed into an emergency hospital to give care to the wounded during the Battle of Liberation in Manila.
On August 1, 1945, the hospital was turned over to the Department of Health (Philippines) after the war. It was renamed North General Hospital (NGH) because it was located north of Pasig, and became a charity hospital, still under the leadership of Dr. Fe del Mundo, serving the needs of approximately two-thirds of more than a million population of the northern half of the city of Pasig.
A School of Nursing was opened on September 1, 1945, to fill in the need for trained nurses in the hospital as well as improve the nursing education in the country. On March 16, 1948, Dr. Jose Reyes was appointed as the new hospital director. He appealed to government agencies for aid. Two hundred thousand pesos were allotted for the establishment of a hospital north district of Manila. San Lazaro Compound was chosen for its site and construction started in 1956. The government of the United States of America through the International Cooperation Agency (ICA) provided aid for the acquisition of medical and paramedical equipment. The new North General Hospital was completed and formally inaugurated on February 28, 1957, and it opened its doors for service in October 1957.
On June 19, 1965, the North General Hospital was renamed Dr. Jose R. Reyes Memorial Hospital in honor of Dr. Reyes for his service as the Director of the hospital from March 16, 1948, up to his death in 1964. Presently, it is known as Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center by virtue of Executive Order No. 851 s.1982. It is not only a general tertiary level hospital but also a medical training center under the Department of Health (Philippines).
Dr. Artemio Cabrera was appointed Medical Center Chief from 1969 to 1986. During his term, new facilities and services were established such as the Microbiology Unit, Nuclear Medicine, Family Planning, ICCU, Medicare Wing, and Urology ward. In his effort, the hospital offered training and research service, thus converting it into a Medical Center in 1982 by the power of Executive Order 851.
In 1986, Dr. Antonio Periquet was appointed as Medical Director. Two agencies from the Ministry of Health were reorganized and integrated into the hospital, such as the National Cancer Control Center and Dermatology & Research Center, by Executive Order 119.
During Dr. Primo V. Brillantes, Jr.'s term as Medical Director from 1988 to 1996, Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center became the flagship hospital of the Department of Health (Philippines). Center of Wellness Hospital Programs was introduced and the hospital was accredited as a "Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital". Moreover, the hospital had undergone expansion and renovation of its facilities.
Dr. Ma. Alicia M. Lim was appointed as the Medical Center Chief II from 1997 to 2011. After her retirement, Dr. Emmanuel F. Montaña, Jr. succeeded her and remained as the present Medical Center Chief. In 2012, the Pediatric Ward of the hospital got renovated with the help of the SM Foundation.