DOH defers Orthopedic Center upgrade; no deal takers under PPP
The Department of Health (DOH) has put on hold the modernization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC) under the public private partnership (PPP) program, drawing instead some P100 million from its own funds to spruce up the aging hospital.
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,” Garin said in a recent interview with reporters. “There has been no takers (of the modernization contract) so what we are doing currently is we are improving the hospital.”
The health chief said private firms were disinterested because of 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 Corp. (PhilHealth).
The government had to make sure that 70 percent of the 700 beds will still be dedicated to the poor while the rest will be for patients who can afford to pay, she said.
“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.
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). So because of this, the POC modernization is not really moving forward.”
In November, Megawide decided to terminate the Build-Operate-Transfer agreement with DOH, which was signed in March 2014, due to the two-year delay in the awarding of the Certificate of Possession, among others.
Following the contract’s termination, Garin explained that the “DOH cannot abandon its duty of ensuring the care of our indigent patients in the POC if their place of transfer cannot be assured.”