AC Health focuses on cancer care facilities

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By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

THE healthcare unit of Ayala Corp. (AC) is breaking ground on its P2-billion cancer care hospital this year, as it targets to open up to two cancer clinics before yearend.

Paolo Maximo F. Borromeo, president and chief executive officer of Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (AC Health), said in a recent interview the 100-bed cancer hospital will be one of the company’s priority projects this year.

“If I were to summarize our three priorities (in 2020), the first one is expansion of our clinics… The second is expansion of our pharmacies. And then our third priority, I hope early next year we can announce the groundbreaking of our cancer hospital within Metro Manila,” he said in a phone call last week.

Mr. Borromeo declined to disclose further details of the cancer hospital including AC Health’s strategic partner for the endeavor.

He said the project will be complemented by five cancer clinics, of which two or three will be set up within 2020.

“These are chemo and infusion centers plus screening facilities… We want to announce everything together — the name, the location, the doctors, etcetera when we’re ready. Hopefully by the first quarter,” he said.

AC Health is embarking on a long-term plan of improving the integration of its services after it acquired Healthway’s Philippine portfolio from Hong Kong’s HKR International Ltd. late last year.

The company’s network of clinics currently involves 80 FamilyDoc primary care clinics, 10 corporate clinics, seven Healthway multi-specialty clinics and 40 Healthway corporate clinics. Mr. Borromeo said the plan is to have 100 FamilyDoc clinics, 100 corporate clinics and 10 multi-specialty clinics in the next two to three years.

“What we’d like to do is on the clinical front, continue expanding our network of primary care, specialty care and corporate clinics. Tatlo na yan. I think that’s the only type of network here in the Philippines where you have primary, specialty and corporate all tied together by one group,” he said.

On the pharmacy side, AC Health remains on the lookout for opportunities to bring in more generic alternatives whether through partnerships or acquisitions. This would follow the company’s investment in I.E. Medica, Inc. and MedEthix, Inc. in November — two local firms involved in importation and distribution of medicine.

Mr. Borromeo said its parent company is still reevaluating its pipeline of investments for the next three to five years within the Ayala group. But for the near term, the plan is to continue financing all AC Health’s projects through capital infusion from the parent company.

AC booked a net income of P46.16 billion in the nine months to September, almost double the P23.86 billion it realized in the same period in 2018. A bulk of its P22.6-billion capital expenditures in the nine-month period went to its emerging businesses, which includes AC Health.

Aside from FamilyDoc, Healthway, IE Medica and MedEthix, AC Health also operates Generika Drugstores and health technology solutions namely Vigos Health Technologies, MedGrocer, AIDE and Fibronostics.