Dr. Dures E. Tagayuna Bids Adieu to J.R. Borja General Hospital

Dear Doki-Rich,

Happy New Year!

It was not a very happy new year for me, though, because I had just said goodbye to something that I had learned to carry around in my mind and my heart. (And, believe it or not, caused me to lose 20 precious pounds!) It was difficult not to call up the Emergency Room to ask about all of you and how you all did after the new year. But certainly, life is like that.

At the outset, please allow me to say that I hold no grudges nor have I ever regretted the decision to take on the JRBGH leadership… even while my heart (which used to be majority “hospital mother”) is sad at the moment.

Thank you very much for the “Open Letter…” that you wrote. Can a heart enlarge non-physiologically, Doctor? My heart swelled with pride to know that there are among you who value my stay at the JRBGH. But, I had to caution myself… let the swelling stay in my chest… I did not want to be afflicted with emphysema of the brain… or symptoms to that effect.

But, even while I had decided to leave the JRBGH (where I was prepared to retire and die in… maybe not really “… die for…” as you said), I couldn’t help but try to point out a few things for you. It seems my leadership mode for the JRBGH hasn’t really been totally turned off.

Doki Rich, as soon as I arrived at the JRBGH a little over a year and 3 months ago, among other things, I made sure that we had a working Executive Committee (Execom) composed of the Division Heads and me. Please humor me by allowing me to explain why. Because I believed that everyone in the hospital needed to have a significant part in how we would run the hospital. We needed to allow every single person to be accountable not only to their immediate supervisors but to the hospital clientele, the people of Cagayan de Oro City: the main reason why we are. This meant that every week, the Execom met and discussed hospital concerns emanating from city hall, hospital management, personnel, patients and other stakeholders (DOH, media, the youth council, etc).

From these meetings, the Execom went to their Divisions to trickle down our thoughts and promote upstream run of issues. And once a month, we had a Hospital General Meeting to identify, air out and address concerns. (At this point, allow me to say thank you to everyone… those who supported what I tried to do: because they made my work easy and those who didn’t quite agree: because they kept me on my toes to try and be better.)

Why do I bring this up again? Because Doki-Rich, I want to point out that my leadership style called for the involvement of everyone and that such be properly implemented, too. I wanted to walk my talk. All of us needed to have a voice in how we run the hospital. All of us needed to know where we wanted to go. All of us needed to know our weaknesses. All of us needed to know our strengths. All of us needed to know our Vision and Mission: to be a tertiary hospital responsible for the health needs of Cagayan de Oro City. Thus, as your previous leader, I encourage you to continue to be responsible and accountable to yourself, the hospital and the people with regards what we are BEST in: the hospital care of Cagay-anons.

I do not intend for this to be a pitch for my return to the JRBGH. At this stage, I don’t think that’s best for our hospital. You were all witness to my experience there. My staying on will only mean that the JRBGH will not be able to get what it truly needs.

FOCUS instead on the Systems changes that can improve the services of the hospital: Fiscal autonomy or at least, retention of income and a revolving drug fund; Hiring of Resident doctors and augmentation of staff for expanded hospital operations; Review and modification of the procurement system; Training, training and more training for the staff (on clinical knowledge and values formation); and provision of appropriate benefits for personnel and staff. We need to open up our hospital to knowledge and technology that can markedly improve our services.

Doki Rich, our problem is not just money. It is a metanoia (is this the right word?) , on all levels. We need to take on our vision and mission. We need to live it and exert all our energies to “get there.” (as YOUR favorite President-elect aptly puts it. ) I hope we can “get there” without dealing with all these on a personal level.

While accolades and verbal or nonverbal support truly warms this ageing heart and adds to my treasure chest of fond memories to delve into during times of strife, I really should once more “lead” you away from this track. As I have said over and over again, no one is indispensable. Our systems should run; our services should be optimal whoever is at the helm.

Lastly, let me share with you this piece (attached file “national”) on why I think Nationalization of our Hospital is advantageous to all concerned. No one really asked for my opinion on this matter so please allow me to impose it on you. It is not a complete list, I am sure. It may not even be totally true as I did not consult with anybody on this. But, these are my personal ideas and if proven wrong, again, I shall humbly accept.

My warmest regards to you, Jovy and your beautiful family. Pa sobra pa diay: my personal and humble thanks to Jovy who selflessly turned over her hospital showcase. It shows what kind of hearts you have and where our hospital lies in your lives. And, while I have thanked you for this, let me say that one of the peaks of my stay at the JRBGH was having a website: ALL OUR VERY OWN! And this was because of you… May blessings upon blessings come upon you.

Yours truly,


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