MPIC looking to build 25 to 30 hospitals
Infrastructure holding firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) plans to scale up its footprint in the healthcare industry by building a network of 25 to 30 hospitals over the next decade, complemented by a new chain of about 30 primary care clinics in the next five years.
The plan is to build new hospitals from scratch, a departure from its decade-long strategy of taking over existing hospitals in need of a white knight. As there are not too many mature hospitals on the auction block, MPIC sees the need to consider building new facilities.
The group’s hospital arm Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc. (MPHHI) has already achieved its original goal of building a capacity of 3,000 beds in its network of 13 hospitals.
Looking at the geographical spread of MPHHI’s hospitals—eight in Metro Manila and five in the provinces—company president Augie Palisoc said there was still a lot of unserved areas relative to the country’s needs.
“I think we’re only halfway there,” Palisoc said, when asked whether the group had achieved the critical mass in the hospital business.
Palisoc said MPHHI would likely hit the 25 to 30 hospital goal in 10 years. “If we’re lucky, it can be faster. We like it to be faster.”
MPIC chair Manuel V. Pangilinan said the hospital group was also looking to build a hospital specializing on children’s needs. For this project, he said the group has tapped as an adviser a Toronto children’s hospital.
A children’s hospital would typically have around 120 beds, Palisoc said. He did not say where this would be located, saying only the proposal was still being studied.
Palisoc said MPHHI would have to exercise caution because the group has no experience yet in building new hospitals. A partnership with a property developer was part of the discussions, he said, given that each greenfield hospital project would run by the billions.
Palisoc added the group’s thrust was now divided between its investment in hospitals and a new initiative to expand the primary care clinic business in partnership with Barcelona-based Sanitas.
Recently, the group transferred its 51-percent stake in Megaclinic Inc., an ambulatory care center in SM Megamall, to a 50-50 percent joint venture firm with Sanitas called Metro Sanitas Corp.
The target is to build or acquire 30 clinics in five years, he said. Each clinic is estimated to require P50 million to P100 million in investment.
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