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MVP group eyes string of cancer care hospitals

/ 05:12 AM August 02, 2019

The group of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan is investing in a chain of cancer treatment centers, even building a brand-new hospital for children here in the metro and upgrading the capacity of Makati Medical Center.

These are some of the expansion plans of Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc. (MPHHI), which is currently in the thick of discussions to sell down a portion of the shares held by parent conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) in order to raise fresh equity for the group’s expansion program.

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While the biggest hospitals under the 14-member MPHHI group already operate oncology centers, MPIC chief financial officer David Nicol said the investment in a chain of treatment clinics—sometimes independent of the existing network and sometimes part of it—would help fill the gap in cancer treatment facilities.

Oslec Lopez, MPHHI head of special projects and business development for Mindanao, said each of these cancer care centers would cost around P300 million to build. These centers would offer radiotherapy treatment, which uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.

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Lopez said the group now had three existing cancer care centers while another one would open at the end of the year. The group is working on at least three projects through joint venture deals with hospitals not part of the MPHHI network.

In February, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11215 or the National Integrated Cancer Control Act, which provides the framework for an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development, family-centered cancer control policies and programs and interventions at all levels of the existing health care delivery system.

“It allows more patients to go to these types of therapy, so it’s positive for us. It’s one way of expanding treatment centers across the Philippines,” Lopez said.

Lopez said MPHHI would like to cover as much ground as it can in the Philippines, but it would depend on the number of private hospitals that can partner with the group.

MPIC chair Manuel V. Pangilinan also announced a potential investment in a 300- to 500-bed children’s hospital.  This would be the first time for the group, which has grown its portfolio to 14 hospitals through a string of acquisitions beginning with Makati Med in 2007, to build a hospital from scratch.

“I’d like to think that for a children’s hospital, the market is huge,” Pangilinan said, adding the group was already looking for potential sites in Metro Manila.

A good model for Pangilinan is Stanford Children’s Health, the only health care system in the San Francisco Bay Area—and one of the few in the United States—exclusively dedicated to pediatric and obstetric care.

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For Makati Med’s expansion, about P5-P6 billion might be needed to build a new facility, possibly a high-rise tower, to add 250 rooms to the current hospital, Nicol said.

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TAGS: cancer care hospitals, cancer treatment centers, Makati Medical Center, Manuel V. Pangilinan
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