Saturday, 12 June 2010

Medical City steps up provincial expansion
By JAMES A. LOYOLA
Manila Bulletin
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/261619/medical-city-steps-provincial-expansion

After spending an initial P600 million, The Medical City (TMC) is investing an additional P300 million to P400 million for its expansion into underserved areas in the provinces.

In a press conference, TMC president Dr. Alfredo Bengzon said their expansion will be guided by the “logic and desirability of the location, situation of the area, and the disposition of the public.”

He said these areas must have existing facilities and practitioners that TMC can upgrade and help improve so that the standard can be raised to be worth of the TMC brand.

TMC Strategic services head Margaret Bengzon said their focus is to build the TMC brand and not to build a portfolio of hospitals.

Thus, they may either form partnerships or invest in existing facilities in the provinces without having to be the majority shareholder in these hospitals.

Dr. Bengzon said they need to upgrade the facilities of their hospitals with new technology so patients will not have to go abroad to avail of these services. It will also help boost their capacity for medical tourism.

“New acquisitions add value to the type of value we give to our patients,” he said.

Ms. Bengzon said they will fund their expansion program with internally generated funds as well as some loans, noting that “we are very under-leveraged.”

Dr. Bengzon said the new technology they are acquiring will also help TMC boost its earnings in the coming years.

TMC reported a 10.6 percent growth in net income to P480.4 million last year from P434.4 million in 2008 as revenues grew 5 percent to P3.38 billion from P3.22 billion.

However, Bengzon said revenues were lower in the first quarter of 2010 although they expect the second half to be better and enough to compensate for the softer first quarter performance.

TMC spent had spent P150 million to acquire new technology and hospitals and invested an additional P450 million to upgrade these facilities.

Bengzon said a big portion of the amount was spent in bringing into Great Savior International Hospital (GSIH) new machineries that will introduce the hospital’s trademark service.

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