A Brief History
October 8, 2018
The Medical Mission Group Hospital and Health Services Cooperative of Aklan (MMG-AKLAN) will be twenty years old today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you! It has been twenty fruitful years of “excellence in caring for people and building a healthier community”.
The roots of MMG-AKLAN can be traced back to the Medical Mission Group Hospital and Health Services Cooperative in Davao City (MMG-DAVAO). Admittedly, it also owes much to the Aklan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (AMPC) which was instrumental in its formation.
MMG-DAVAO was accredited by the Cooperative Development Authority of the Philippines (CDA) on January 10, 1991 as the first health cooperative in the Philippines. It was borne out of the desire of a few young doctors to provide adequate, affordable, accessible and appropriate health care to the communities with special bias for the marginalized sectors. The dismal health situation in the country prompted the founders to put up a health cooperative that is owned and operated by doctors, nurses, employees and the community.
Sometime in 1992, at that time oblivious of the existence of the Davao Group, AMPC was organized by a group of civic-minded doctors and prominent citizens in Aklan. The praiseworthy aim was to provide an improved, but cooperatively-owned, hospital and health services as an alternative to the inadequate health services being given to the public at that time. It will arguably prove to be the first cooperatively-owned hospital in Panay Island and even the whole of Western Visayas.
When the success that was MMG-DAVAO was published in a newspaper’s Sunday Magazine, AMPC decided to send some of its officers and members to Davao City to learn more about the concept. The whole idea was so inspiring that they left for home with high hopes of duplicating the success in their own province.
AMPC began operating its hospital, the Aklan Cooperative Mission Hospital (ACMH), in 1996 amidst an unresolved conflict among its officers (which eventually led to the formation of another cooperative by the breakaway group). The word “Mission” in its name was suggested by a member of the Board of Directors, who was a municipal judge, on the assumption that it will eventually be accepted as a member of the still to be conceived Medical Mission Group Hospitals and Health Services Cooperative Philippines – Federation (MMG-FEDERATION).
The AMPC Board of Directors, with much encouragement from the good judge, continued to send the first ACMH medical director to every MMG National Directorate Meeting, with the hope of becoming a regular member of the organization. Such meetings are usually held in a town or city where a new MMG chapter has been inaugurated. In due time, the MMG National Directorate (which will later be formalized as the MMG-FEDERATION) held the opinion that AMPC, being a multi-purpose cooperative, will not be well-aligned with the avowed mission and vision of the Medical Mission Group, which is purely a health services cooperative.
Nevertheless, the MMG National Directorate officers encouraged the formation of MMG-AKLAN (or primary cooperative) by the handful of doctors who remained with ACMH and who have embraced the same ideals espoused by the Medical Mission Group. Thus, it was with the blessings of the AMPC Board of Directors that the Medical Mission Group Hospital and Health Services Cooperative of Aklan was finally organized. With an AMPC board resolution encouraging the formation of MMG-AKLAN, the ACMH Medical Director together with the AMPC General Manager at that time set up the initial meetings of the organizing committee. Such meetings, as well as the first Pre-Membership Education Seminar, were held within the Aklan Cooperative Mission Hospital Building with its own nurses and doctors in attendance as the first applicants for membership. MMG-AKLAN was fully organized by October 8, 1997 and was accredited by the CDA in July 1998.
The original co-operators of MMG-AKLAN were:
With a meager initial capital of less than One Hundred Thousand Pesos (₱100,000.00), MMG-AKLAN SPECIALTY CLINICS first opened to the public in 1998 in a small rented space at the Tajolosa Building in Roxas Avenue, Kalibo, Aklan. It had only 4 regular (general manager, pharmacist, radiotech, and clinic nurse) and one or two part-time (medtech) employees. Its initial services included just 4 doctors doing out-patient consultations, simple laboratory exams, simple X-rays, an ECG machine, and a small Pharmacy. The ultrasound services became available within two years.
On January 8, 2011, MMG-AKLAN transferred its operations to its own newly-constructed, but still unfinished, building in a one thousand square meter lot in San Lorenzo Ruiz Drive, Kalibo Aklan. The building was completed and formally inaugurated in June of 2013. The three-story building had many more doctors practicing in various specialties. It had an expanded diagnostic laboratory, an improved X-ray and Ultrasound services, and a larger variety of available medicines in the pharmacy.
Today, it has a total number of 45 doctors holding clinics and 39 regular employees. It has added more specialized services to the patients such as the MMG Heart Center with 2-D Echocardiography and the MMG Hearing Center (so far the only one accredited as such in the province).
With the recent acquisition of the adjacent one thousand square meter lot, more services are envisioned to be offered in the near future. The aim in view is to be the biggest multi-specialty out-patient clinic with the most extensive and most modern health facilities and services in the province that will cater to the needs of people from all walks of life at the most affordable cost.
“Friendly, affordable, and accessible quality health care” – that was what MMG-AKLAN stood for in the beginning. That is what it will continue to stand for in the years to come.
On its 20th Year Anniversary, MMG-AKLAN looks back and appreciates the pioneering efforts of the men and women who dared to establish the cooperative with a noble mission to provide health services especially to the less fortunate. And it is heartening to note that the torch is being carried on by a new breed of dynamic, young, fresh blood of medical specialists and professionals who are determined to bring MMG-AKLAN’s brand of pro-people service to greater heights.
Through the years, MMG-AKLAN and all its members have been faithful to the ideals of the MMG-FEDERATION which is the largest network of cooperative hospitals and health services providers in the Philippines.
The Philosophy: “HEALTH IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT” and as such, it should be universally accessible to everybody not only for those who can afford.
The Motto: “Until every pain and affliction, every cry of anguish and hunger can seek attention and care without fear of inaccessibility, rejection or discrimination…
Until then, our work is never done!”
written by ARTHUR A. SALIDO, MD