THE hospital unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is investing about P5-6 billion for a new medical facility specializing in women’s health care.

MPIC President and Chief Executive Officer Jose Ma. K. Lim said Makati Medical Center, which is part of Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, Inc. (MPHHI), will be opening a women’s center beside the hospital at Ayala North Exchange.

“This is a special facility that’s dedicated or specializing in women’s ailments and diseases. This is designed by a Singaporean architectural firm,” Mr. Lim said during MPIC’s briefing for its second quarter results in Makati on Thursday.

MPIC Chief Finance Officer David J. Nicol said the project will have about 250 beds, depending on the center’s exact configuration.

MPHHI is currently conducting a tender offer to shareholders of Medical Doctors, Inc., the owner of Makati Medical Center, to increase its stake in the company to 49.9%, from its current ownership of 33.3%.

The tender offer was initially supposed to end on July 26, but the company extended the deadline until Aug. 9 following the low acceptance of shareholders.

“We don’t expect a huge acceptance. I think the net result is it won’t change very much,” Mr. Nicol said.

On the other hand, MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said they are also looking at building a children’s hospital in Metro Manila.

“There’s no meaningful children’s hospital in this country at all. So we’re looking at several sites to see where we can locate it,” Mr. Pangilinan said in the same briefing, saying that it will house about 300 to 500 beds.

The women’s medical center and children’s hospital will be the part of the company’s target to have 5,000 beds under its portfolio.

MPHHI currently has 14 hospitals across the country, including Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Asian Hospital, De Los Santos Medical Center, Manila Doctors Hospital, Marikina Valley Medical Center, Inc., and Dr. Jesus C. Delgado Memorial Hospital in Metro Manila.

The company also has interests in hospitals in the provinces, namely Davao Doctors Hospital, Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod, Central Luzon Doctors Hospital in Tarlac, West Metro Medical Center in Zamboanga, Sacred Heart Hospital of Malolos, Inc. in Bulacan and St. Elizabeth Hospital, Inc. in General Santos City.

The company is currently preparing for an initial public offering by the end of this year or early next year, earlier saying it might raise between P15-20 billion to finance its expansion and acquisition of other hospitals. — Arra B. Francia