DOH shelves Orthopedic Center upgrade

Image by Wikiwand
  • DOH shelves modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center
  • There were no takers, according to DOH Secretary Janette Garin
  • Companies were uncertain about the project’s profitability, the Health Secretary revealed

The Department of Health (DOH) has shelved the modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC) because it still cannot find a qualified provider. Instead, the DOH is drawing some P100 million from its own funds to fix up the 70-year-old hospital.

In a story written by Jocelyn R. Uy published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Health Secretary Janette Garin said that after Megawide World Citi Consortium Inc. (MWCCI) terminated its contract in November, the health department promised to provide financial assistance for the improvement of the 70-year-old POC in Quezon City.

“We initially allotted around P100 million and we will just augment it as the need arises. There has been no takers [of the modernization contract] so what we are doing currently is we are improving the hospital,” Garin said.

According to the Health chief, private firms were not interested due to the “70-30” patient classification to be adopted by the hospital, in which a large bulk of the services will still be offered to government-funded cases and indigents enrolled in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

“We will not bid it out because there are no takers due to the patient classification. If there will be any, of course they want to earn but it’s impossible for them to enter into the PPP if they will not make money,” Garin explained.

According to an article by Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce published by the Manila Bulletin, it was revealed that the bidding for the project was opened three times but there was no taker.

In a story by Vince Alvic A. F.Nonato on the Business World, the Health Secretary also disclosed that the companies were uncertain about the project’s profitability as the DOH remains adamant in ensuring the hospital remains geared to serving indigent and government-sponsored patients.

She said the DOH had stopped moves to modernize the hospital under the PPP program because the government is not backtracking on the mandatory 70-30 arrangement. Because of this, the POC modernization is not really moving forward.