POC to be modernized, not privatized, says gov't

Amid protests against the plan, a government agency clarified that the Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC) will be modernized, not privatized.

Photo by Cemby

With the Modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center (MPOC) through public-private partnership (PPP), government will retain ownership of the new public hospital facility and poor patients will have access to world-class trauma and orthopedic care, according to a post on the PPP Center website.

The Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC) is one of the best orthopedic hospitals in the country yet it suffers from poor medical facilities and lack of modern equipment. These conditions have somehow limited the scope of medical services offered in the hospital and affected the quality of care patients get.

The MPOC is set to address all of these challenges through the provision of excellent orthopedic and rehabilitation care through better services, improved hospital conditions, state-of the-art equipment and facilities, and more efficient operations. The new hospital is expected to serve more patients and cover a broader range of ailments considering reduced length of stay and improved medical facilities.

At present, patients at the old POC stay an average of 16-24 days in the hospital. But with the improved POC, patients can expect a shorter stay of 8-12 days.

Even the poorest of the poor patients will get quality medical care and services in the modernized POC. They will not be turned away but shall be treated through the PhilHealth’s Universal Health Care Program.

In December 2013, the PPP project was awarded to Megawide-World Citi after undergoing a transparent and rigorous public procurement process. The consortium successfully met the requirements needed to design, construct, finance, operate, and maintain the 700-bed Specialty Hospital.

Megawide-World Citi will infuse not only the requisite funds to transform POC into a state-of-the-art center of excellence, but also manage the day to day operations and its funding.

Construction of new building and facilities and provision of equipment will be at no cost to the government. The government will just provide the land for MPOC’s new site. The Department of Health (DOH) would continue to oversee management of the modernized POC. Thus, government is not giving up control and ownership to the private sector.

After the 25 years cooperation period, the modernized POC will be returned to the government, the PPP Center added.