The South Sea Resort will be developed into a medical resort called South Sea Medical City (SSMC) which will house a 100-bed tertiary hospital, two condominium buildings, a 200-room resort-hotel, a fitness center, souvenir shops, swimming pools and a helipad.
The hospital will have facilities for the treatment of cancer and blood diseases.
Dr. Jonathan C. Amante, SSMC board director, said the hospital would be run by physicians, pointing out that hospitals run by physicians are better managed and more progressive.
These include St. Luke’s Medical Center, Medical City and Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu. “These are just good examples of how it should be run,” said Amante.
He said the province’s three tertiary hospitals, all located in Dumaguete, were not enough to address the needs of Negros Oriental’s 1 million population.
“The hallways are crowded, and if you notice, patients just stay wherever there is available space,” Amante said. “It compromises the quality of care.”
Government officials and physicians in Negros Oriental gathered at the site on Dec. 19 to bury the time capsule for the project. Construction is set to start in the first quarter next year.
The majority stockholder of the project, which cost P1 billion, is former Sen. John Osmeña, said engineer Arnold Antonio, project manager.
Osmeña, who bought South Sea Resort from the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp., planned to sell 220 shares to physicians to make them part owners of the hospital. Each stockholder will have one share, said Antonio.
“I believe that Dumaguete has so much to show and has great potential in laying down the cornerstone for medical tourism,” said Dr. Grace Valdez, licensing and medical consultant of the project.
Although foreigners are the target market of the project, Filipinos will always be given priority both as hospital patients and as customers in the resort, said Valdez.
“Previously, patients had to be sent to Cebu, but there will be radiation treatment made available here (Dumaguete) through the hospital,” said Dr. Bong Rosario, a friend of Osmeña who is helping him in the project.
Valdez added that nurses who could speak more than one language have the advantage in job openings in the hospital.
“Now is a good time to learn languages,” she said.