28 January 2013
The country‚Äôs first PPP project in health, the Modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center (MPOC), drew the interest of nine (9) prospective bidders who attended the pre-bid conference staged by the Department of Health today at the Lung Center of the Philippines. The prospective bidders include big names in the infrastructure and health care industry like the Siemens, Inc. Healthcare Sector, GE Health Care General Electric Phil. Inc., Sta. Clara International Corp., Mount Grace Hospital Ventures, Philips Electronic and Lighting Inc., Metro Pacific Investments, Megawide Engineering Excellence and Strategic Alliance Holding, Inc. and Data Trail Corp.
Under the PPP program of the Aquino administration the 68-year old Philippine Orthopedic Center is set to receive a much needed upgrade of its medical and related infrastructure facilities that will improve the delivery of its services.
Using the PPP mode, the private sector partner will build a state-of-the-art, center of excellence for orthopedics and manage the entire clinical services, as well as the other hard and soft service operations of the improved POC. Meanwhile government still retains full ownership of the POC while using the financial resources and technical expertise that the private sector will provide.
DOH Secretary Enrique Ona expressed confidence that with the positive response of the private sector to partner with the government in the implementation of universal health care or Kalusugang Pang-kalahatan, equity in access to health care delivery is not far-fetched.
The MPOC Project will be implemented through a build-operate‚Äďand-transfer (BOT) contractual arrangement with a cooperation period of 25 years, including its construction period. Under the proposed arrangement, the winning bidder will design, construct, finance, equip, operate, maintain and transfer the revitalized POC to the DOH who will continue its operations.
Under the provisions of the bid documents, the winning bidder is required to reserve 420 beds exclusively for Philhealth-sponsored patients under the ‚Äėno balance billing‚Äô scheme and 70 beds for indigent patients.
The lowest economic quintile of the population is expected to benefit the most from the MPOC project as Usec. Ted Herbosa quipped, ‚ÄúMost of the poor go to government-run health facilities in their time of need and they deserve no less than the best care from these public facilities.‚ÄĚ
In a move to further secure the project‚Äôs transparency, the DOH signed a confidentiality agreement with prospective bidders that govern each party‚Äôs responsibilities and obligations on the sharing of information about the MPOC. Bidders are restricted from directly posing queries to any DOH official or employee.
According to the signed confidentiality agreement, queries or clarifications about the project should be course directly to DOH PBAC in an official memo. Bidders may not share the confidential information or communicate with other bidders about the project.
In signing the agreement, the government is assured that there will be no collusion between the bidders that can undermine the integrity of the bidding process. The agreement is only applicable to the bidders of the project and does not include the general public.
The MPOC is a recipient of the Project Development and Monitoring Facility (PDMF) managed by the PPP Center. Under the PDMF, the DOH was given funding support in terms of procuring transaction advisors to provide technical assistance in the bid process management including the preparation of bid documents and contracts and assistance until financial close.
Aside from managing PDMF, the PPP Center also provides technical advisory, project facilitation services, and capacity building support to implementing agencies and local government units in ensuring that all PPP projects are developed and implemented effectively.