11 December 2013
Hope springs for both patients and the medical team of the Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC) as the Department of Health finally issued the Notice of Award to the project’s winning consortium Megawide Construction Corporation and World Citi Medical Center who will modernize the POC. This was after the DOH’s Pre-qualifications Bids and Awards Committee for the Modernization of the POC (MPOC) issued Resolution No. 13 last November 28 recommending to Health Secretary Enrique Ona that the contract be awarded to Megawide-World Citi Consortium.
With the modernization of the POC underway, the DOH prepares to step up preparations for the actual implementation of the project. DOH estimates that with the increase in bed capacity from the current 300 beds to 700 beds, the modernized POC will require a total of 1,575 staff from its present 927 staff or a hefty 70% increase in employment. Health Secretary Enrique Ona said that the projected increase in the number of staff needed is based on a 2.25 staff to bed ratio.
Out of the 700 beds, 70 will be allocated for charity cases and 420 for PHILHEALTH sponsored patients to jumpstart the country’s universal health care program.
Health Undersecretary and Bids and Awards Committee Chair Teodoro Herbosa reiterated that while the project was already awarded to the private sector who will design, build, finance and operate and maintain the facility, government still retains ownership of the POC.
“The POC will remain a government agency but now with access to extensive financial and technologically-advanced resources provided by the private sector. This is the advantage of structuring this project under a PPP arrangement. Government is partnering with Megawide-World Citi Consortium for 25 years which is the agreed concession period. During that time they will maintain and operate the POC. This gives government more fiscal space to fund other health projects. The DOH will make sure that they will deliver the agreed superior medical services that we asked of them and bring these medical benefits down to the neediest patient,” Herbosa maintained.
With the contract already awarded, construction work on the new POC site at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) Compound in East Avenue is targeted to start on the second half of 2014.
The project is the first health project under the country’s Public-Private Partnership program.