Politics

Viability concerns stall Ayala hospital arm’s bid for P9.49-B PGH cancer center

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THE Ayala group’s hospital brand is facing challenges in bidding for the P9.49-billion Philippine General Hospital (PGH) cancer center due to concerns about economic viability, an official said.

“No movement right now because when we looked at the terms of reference, it is quite difficult to make it really viable,” Jaime E. Ysmael, Healthway Medical Network chief executive officer, told reporters last week.

“The government is now studying if they can modify the terms,” he added.

Healthway Medical Network is the hospitals and clinics arm of Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (AC Health). 

“It is more of the economics. It is difficult to really make it work considering that you’re building a big hospital that will address both charity and private patients,” Mr. Ysmael said.

“You can get earnings from the private patients but we will not earn anything from the charity side,” he added.

Building a large hospital for both charity and private patients poses economic challenges, with complexities in the build-transfer-operate model, according to the company.

“Even the assets will not be with the proponent; it is hard also to get loans if that is the case,” he added.

The cancer center project, with a 300-bed capacity, began bidding in June last year, aiming to enhance the existing University of the Philippines-PGH cancer facility.

In November, the company inaugurated the P3 billion Healthway Cancer Care Hospital  in Taguig City, featuring specialized facilities and services.

AC Health’s diverse portfolio includes Healthway, Generika Drugstore, IE Medica, MedEthix, and the healthcare aggregator app KonsultaMD. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave