APPLEONE Medical Group (AMG) is allotting P2 billion to redevelop and modernize three hospitals under its healthcare business portfolio.
Of the total amount, P1 billion has been set aside for the modernization of the Visayas Community Medical Center (VCMC) whose construction of new amenities and renovations is already underway. This will be completed in two years’ time.
“We are modernizing VCMC to be at par with the pioneering hospitals here in our country and abroad,” said Ray Go Manigsaca, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of AppleOne Properties Inc. (API).
API, through AMG, signed a joint venture agreement with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) in June 2020 to acquire the majority shares of VCMC in Cebu City.
AMG also entered into a joint venture with Brokenshire Integrated Health Ministries Inc. and UCCP to acquire a 52 percent share of Brokenshire Hospital in Davao City.
The healthcare arm of API also acquired stakes of United Shalom Medical Center (formerly Bethany) in Tacloban City.
Jun Amistoso, CEO of VCMC, said the hospital will undergo a major renovation both in capability and capacity.
VCMC will soon have a Medical Arts building where doctors will have clinics. It will also expand its hospital bed capacity from 200 to 300 when the new hospital wing will be fully completed.
Other key developments at the hospital are the hemodialysis unit, heart and vascular institute, cardiac catheterization lab, sleep lab, hearing unit and birthing unit.
According to Amistoso, Covid-19 has exposed the vulnerabilities of medical facilities in Cebu, especially in terms of capacity and in handling illnesses of great scale. He said the acquisition and renovations at VCMC put them on a good start in building a pandemic-ready healthcare facility.
“This pandemic has even directed me to focus on our hospital business to support it more. It needs help this time as we are in a very different situation,” said Manigsaca.
AppleOne Medical will also build a modern rehab center in VCMC, an outpatient department (OPD) diagnostic and laboratories and OPD pharmacies. These facilities will also be equipped with new state-of-the-art medical equipment.
VCMC infection control chairman Dr. Bryan Lim welcomed the modernization program of VCMC, saying this will boost Cebu’s capability in handling other serious illnesses in the future.
He said Covid-19 will not be the last pandemic that the world will face, so building a “hospital for the future” with improved processes and well-equipped and well-trained frontliners is an advantage.
Lim said Cebu was able to manage the Covid-19 cases because of the concerted efforts of all stakeholders.
“We are in the safe zone now. I see this as a golden opportunity for the province to vaccinate more people to save more lives,” he said.
Lim stressed the need to speed up the vaccination efforts in Cebu to spare it from re-experiencing high Covid-19 cases.
“What is happening in the National Capital Region can happen in Cebu, but if we are able to roll out faster vaccination, the story would be different. The surge in Metro Manila happened before the vaccination. So we still can prevent it from happening in Cebu,” he said.
VCMC is celebrating its 69 years in the healthcare industry. It was establised on April 6, 1952. (KOC)