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Ayala Land, partner earmark P5 billion to grow healthcare business

February 19, 2014 4:47pm

Tags: Ayala Land
Ayala Land Inc. and its partner Whiteknight Holdings Inc. are spending over P5 billion to build a network of hospitals and satellite clinics across the property firm's existing developments in the next five years.

"We are introducing QualiMed as the brand. Our intention is to have QualiMed in existing malls...and the presence of QualiMed hospitals in various integrated mixed-use developments," president and CEO Antonino Aquino told reporters at the opening of the first QualiMed in Quezon City Wednesday.

Aquino said the joint venture will open four more satellite clinics in Quezon City, Pasay City and Cebu City.

"The satellite clinics will take advantage of the locations with great density of population already present," he said.

The hospital component will be developed in two phases. The first phase will include putting up four hospitals in the next two years in Iloilo, Bacolod, Laguna and Bulacan. In the second phase, the joint venture will launch six hospitals in the next five years in Pampanga, Balintawak, Quezon City, Taguig City, Cavite, Cebu and Davao.

The cost for putting up a hospital with 100 to 150 beds is P500 million while the investment in a clinic is about P20 to 30 million, said Ayala Land corporate planning and international business development head David San Pedro.

"We want to prime up our sites and complete our offering, we're looking at 1,000 beds in five years, so that's ten new hospitals and at least ten new clinics," he said.

In July 2013, Ayala Land said it bought Whiteknight Holdings Inc. of the Mercado family to enhance its offering of traditional residential, office, shopping and hotel developments by adding healthcare to the mix.

Whiteknight holds a 33-percent equity in Mercado General Hospital Inc. (MGHI).
Ayala Land and MGHI have no plans to acquire existing hospitals.

"Our objective is to be one of the major players. We're not buying up hospitals, we are really setting up from be located in prime locations," Aquino said.

MGHI president Dr. Edwin Mercado cited "legacy issues" in acquiring old hospitals.

"In the United States, the objective is to get the patients out of the hospital at the soonest possible time, that's why we're developing the ambulatory surgical concept," he said.

"Most of the former owners... still wouldn't want to align with the value system and the processes that we usually have," he added.

On Wednesday, QualiMed opened a 180,000-square meter satellite clinic at Trinoma mall. It will offer medical services including cardiac, dental, pulmonary, and vaccination services, as well as diagnostic imaging and laboratory services. — BM, GMA News
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