IFC invests in Fullerton Health

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THE PRIVATE SECTOR investment arm of the World Bank has extended a $40-million long-term loan facility to Fullerton Healthcare Corporation Limited, which is expanding its health care business in the Philippines.

In a statement, the company said its local subsidiaries — Fullerton Health Philippines Holdings Corporation and Fullerton Health Philippines Pte Ltd. — have secured the loan from International Finance Corp. (IFC).

Fullerton Health said the loan will “help improve the provision of affordable, quality health care in the Philippines and enhance efficiencies in the health maintenance organization market through increased integration between the financing and provision of health care.”

In May, the company entered the Philippines via the purchase of a 60% stake in the Intellicare Group. The group comprises three firms — health maintenance organization (HMO) Asalus Corp.; Avega Managed Care, Inc., which provides third party administration services to corporate clients; and Aventus Medical Care, Inc. which operates a network of outpatient and mobile clinics.

“Garnering the support of IFC as a long-term financing partner is a strong testament of what we have achieved thus far in the health care sector across Asia Pacific, and validates our strategic partnership with the Intellicare Group to deliver a holistic approach to managed health care in the Philippines,” Tam Chee Chong, Fullerton Health chief financial officer, was quoted as saying in the statement.

Fullerton Health said the loan will support the expansion of Intellicare in the Philippines.

“The expanding network will further help Intellicare increase training opportunities for health professionals in the Philippines, improving the skill level in this sector, and subsequently create jobs. IFC’s support will also include sharing of best practices within different areas of operations, including facilitating introductions within IFC’s network of health care clients,” the company said.

Vivek Pathak, IFC director for East Asia and the Pacific, said Fullerton Health’s projects will help benefit the Philippines, where there is a gap in health insurance coverage.

“High quality affordable health care is critical to the long-term sustainable development of Philippines… Growth of Intellicare and other companies in this segment will help reduce low and middle-income households’ reliance on out-of-pocket payments to fund health care expenses,” Mr. Pathak said.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has already invested over $3 billion to support more than 100 private sector companies in the Philippines since 1962.