Monday, 19 April 2010

Medical City buys Iloilo-based chain of hospitals and clinics

Francis Allan L Angelo

ILOILO CITY -- A Metro Manila-based hospital will invest more than P700 million and the latest technology in health care as it embarks on an expansion to Iloilo City.

In a statement, Alfredo R.A. Bengzon, The Medical City president and chief executive officer, said the expansion to Iloilo City and other parts of the country would bring “world-class” medical services to the rest of the country.

The Medical City has assumed management and operations of the Great Saviour International Hospital in Molo, Iloilo City and the Global Medical Network in anticipation of a full purchase before the year ends.

It has also acquired sister sites of Great Saviour and Global Medical Network in Luzon which includes the Mercedes Medical Center in Pampanga and a network of outpatient clinics in Dagupan, Olongapo and Cavite. These clinics are accredited by Tricare, the worldwide health care program that services retired US military servicemen and their dependents.

The acquisition brings the number of Medical City locations to 18. Its main complex is located on a 1.5-hectare property on Ortigas Avenue in Pasig City.

The Medical City has 40 years of experience in hospital operation and administration, serving some 40,000 inpatients and 380,000 outpatients a year.

Mr. Bengzon said they found the Great Saviour network, headed by Evangeline C. Johnson, was ideal for Medical City’s expansion plans.

Initially, the Medical City has allocated P150 million for the upgrade of the Iloilo hospital building.

Some P600 million will be spent for the acquisition of equipment such as a 4D CAT scan and construction of additional wards. “Some P400 million will be set aside for the Iloilo hospital while the rest will be spent on sister facilities in Luzon,” Mr. Bengzon said.

Great Saviour is a tertiary hospital with a 100-bed capacity. Its sister hospital in Angeles City is a level-two facility with a capacity of 50 beds. Mr. Bengzon said the capacity would be expanded to 200 beds with the construction of another building.

Mr. Bengzon also said the acquisition of Great Saviour’s five clinics in Iloilo City and Luzon would allow the Medical City to serve retired US military servicemen under the Tricare system.

The Medical City will bring to Iloilo a regenerative medicine program which uses stem cell technology in curing cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Meanwhile, Ms. Johnson denied reports she had sold Great Savious because it is bleeding financially. She said it was the Medical City that approached her.

“No, we’re not losing. Just like any entity, we also experienced birth pains but we hurdled past them. Would a top corporation like the Medical City buy a bankrupt hospital?” Ms. Johnson said.

Mr. Bengzon said the Medical City also looked into controversies such as the alleged Tricare and Philhealth claims scams involving Ms. Johnson and her medical network but said his group was convinced the hospital and its management had nothing to do with them.

Mr. Bengzon said Ms. Johnson would remain as consultant.

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