by Teddy Herbosa, MD
The Modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center has been put on hold for 5 months for review by the newly appointed Secretary of Health Janette Garin. She had her legal team review the contract which was signed in March of 2014. The bidder, Megawide, Inc. acquired financial close in early October, 2014. This Public Private Partnership project is the first whole hospital PPP project in the Philippines and was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority of NEDA Board chaired by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III last September 2013. The project is a build operate transfer contract to build a 700 bed modern orthopedic hospital along East Avenue In Quezon City adjacent to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute and in front of the Philippine Heart Center. The old Philippine Orthopedic Center is a 500 bed hospital established in the 1960’s but has suffered from budget deficit and lack of funding and equipment. The new center envision a modern hospital wherein 490 beds will be allocated for those sponsored in the national health insurance program and 210 beds was allocated to private patients. The new hospital will incorporate value engineering in its design and feature state of the art equipment for bone and soft tissue diseases. The modern hospital hopes to tap of the medical tourism industry as it provides state of the art care. Secretary Garin wanted revisions in the contract that included changing the site and reallocating beds for the indigents. It took three years to achieve contract signing and financial close. The construction was supposed to be started last November 2014. The oral cost of the social infrastructure project is 5.6 Billion Philippine Pesos. Garin wanted the modernization project transferred to the old site. She also wanted to increase the number of beds for indigents.