Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, 28 November 2011


MANILA, Philippines—Infrastructure holding firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is interested in taking over the state-run Philippine Orthopedic Center under a private-public partnership framework, as part of efforts to scale up its healthcare business.

MPIC affirmed to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday its interest in expanding its hospital chain, “consistent with its strategy of forming the first nationwide network of hospitals in the country.”

“As such, we would be open to consider participating in the planned bidding for the modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center under the government’s PPP program,” the disclosure said.

The modernization of this 700-room tertiary hospital at the corner of Maria Clara and Banawe streets in Quezon City is among the medium-term PPP projects that the government

The PPP proposal seeks to groom the Philippine Orthopedic Center as the “premier center for bone diseases, trauma, rehabilitation and commercial production of limb prosthesis.”

MPIC noted that to date, however, no definitive decision had been made, “considering that the terms of reference for said bidding has not been released.”

The MPIC group now has six hospitals in its nationwide healthcare network equivalent to in excess of 1,800 beds across the archipelago. The latest acquisition was that of upscale 219-bed Asian Hospital in Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang.

The group also controls Makati Medical Center, Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan, and the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Sta. Mesa. Manila. MPIC has also invested in Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod and Davao Doctors Hospital in Mindanao.

The Metro Pacific group plans to scale up its hospital group, currently the smallest in its infrastructure portfolio, into a P10-billion business in five years by acquiring more hospitals and unlocking more values from them. By operating a chain of hospitals, the group can benefit from improved purchasing leverage which in turn could translate to lower prices for patients.

Given an increasingly regulated environment, the group’s strategy is to map out capital outlays based on each hospital’s cash generating ability as well as to identify the specialization of each unit and share expertise with affiliates.