Dr Gerardo Legaspi
Director, Philippine General Hospital
Dr Gerardo “Gap” D. Legaspi was born and raised in the inner streets of Manila where informal settlers were relocated . He grew up exposed to the less affluent of Philippine society but eventually was able to attend his primary and secondary schooling with the La Sallian brothers graduating in 1979. His college years were spent in the University of the Philippines, during the early part of Martial Law under President Ferdinand Marcos. In between academics and the rigors of being Captain of the Varsity Track and Field Team, he joined mass protests against the dictator , still managing to finish Biology with cum laude honors in 1983.
Dr Legaspi ultimately made it to the UP College of Medicine and continued his immersion with the poor in the wards of the Philippine General Hospital and in the slum districts around it. Finishing medical school in 1987, as the Most Outstanding Graduate in Clinical Clerkship, he went on to do Neurosurgical Residency at the PGH graduating in 1993 as the Chief Resident.
As a neurosurgeon he was able to practice his craft in the most expensive private hospitals in Manila as well as in 3 other government hospitals namely the Philippine General Hospital, the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center . Professionally he was involved in academic neurosurgery, being the first Filipino Neurosurgeon to have lectured in the Harvard Medical System and becoming President of the ASEAN Neurosurgery Society in 2012.
Dr Legaspi’s career eventually gravitated to working at the PGH. Heading the Neurosurgery service in 2004, he put up the Pediatric Neurosurgical and Craniofacial Operating Unit with private donations to address the 2 year backlog of children needing surgery. As Chair of the Pay Patient Services in 2010, Dr Legaspi found ways to increase the income of PGH to cover for the expenses of the indigent patients. In 2012, a fundraising campaign involving the alumni was started. Through generous donations of alumni abroad $ 1,000,000 was raised to renovate the private hospital of PGH thereby increasing the income and doubling the support for its poor patients
In January 1, 2016, Dr Legaspi started his term as Director of PGH. He continues to find ways of augmenting the budget given by the government. He oversees the intricate management of donations from private philanthropies, big business and other government agencies.