The San Lazaro Hospital (SLH) is a tertiary health facility in Manila, Philippines. It is a referral facility for communicable diseases and is one of the retained special tertiary hospital of the Department of Health and is funded by subsidy from the Philippine national government. It has a bed-capacity of 500.[2] It is known as the oldest hospital in the Philippines which caters to indigents.[3]

San Lazaro Hospital
Department of Health
San Lazaro Hospital is located in Manila
San Lazaro Hospital
Location in Manila
San Lazaro Hospital is located in Metro Manila
San Lazaro Hospital
Location in Metro Manila
San Lazaro Hospital is located in Luzon
San Lazaro Hospital
Location in Luzon
San Lazaro Hospital is located in Philippines
San Lazaro Hospital
Location in the Philippines
LocationSanta Cruz, Manila, Philippines
Coordinates14°36′50.5″N 120°58′53.8″E / 14.614028°N 120.981611°E / 14.614028; 120.981611
Religious affiliationFranciscans (formerly)
Emergency departmentYes[1]
ListsHospitals in the Philippines


Philippines Historical Committee marker installed in 1952

The San Lazaro Hospital was established in 1577 during the Spanish colonial period as a dispensary clinic in Intramuros by Fr. Juan Clemente, a Spanish priest. In 1578, it became a hospital which catered from patients afflicted with leprosy and other diseases.[2] In the 1590s, the hospital along with the San Juan de Dios Hospital were supported by the Hermandad de la Misericordia of secular priest and eremite Juan Fernandez de Leon.[4]

The King of Spain issued a royal decree moving the hospital to its current site which was then known as Hacienda Mayhaligue in 1784. A chapel enclosed with stone walls was erected within hospital grounds by Fr. Felix Huerta in 1859.[2]

The hospital's history is connected with the 26 Martyrs of Japan. Spanish priest and leader of the Japanese protomartyrs, Pedro Bautista while he was in the Philippines was sent 134 Japanese lepers by the Tokugawa shogunate along with a note "If it is converts you want, begin with these". The lepers were admitted to the San Lazaro Hospital.[4]

The Americans took over the administration of the hospital in 1898. The facility became a hospital specializing in contagious diseases. In 1918, the Filipinos began managing the hospital. From 1930 to 1931, San Lazaro Hospital's insane patients were admitted to the National Mental Hospital and in 1949, the hospital's patients with leprosy were moved to the Tala Leprosarium which later became known as the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital.[2]


  1. ^ Leyco-Chua, Eleanor Amarga (March 28, 2018). "The faces of rabies". BusinessMirror. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "San Lazaro Hospital Today". Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  3. ^ Venturina-Bulanadi, Mary Ann (April 12, 2014). "San Lazaro Hospital unveils historical mural". Manila Standard. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Roces, Alejandro (September 5, 2002). "San Lazaro Hospital – a historic heritage". The Philippine Star. Retrieved January 31, 2020.