METRO Pacific Hospital Holdings, Inc. (MPHHI) is targeting 40 hospitals under its network in the next seven to eight years, or double the figure it expects by end-2022.

“We were able to build or invest in 19 hospitals in the last 15 years. So that’s an average of 1.3 hospitals per year,” MPHHI President Augusto P. Palisoc, Jr. said at the company’s brand equity launch event.

Aside from hospitals, the company also has 22 outpatient care centers, giving it a 3,829-bed capacity that caters to 3.8 million patients. Its hospital network has 9,535 doctors and 16,566 nurses.

“If you do the math, it will take us another 15 years to get to 40,” Mr. Palisoc said, adding that because of the company’s experience, it should reach the target faster.

“So, I think we can cut it down to seven to eight years instead,” he said, partly in Filipino.

The company’s target is expected to increase its hospital beds to 5,000. It comes as MPHHI rebrands to Metro Pacific Health to make healthcare affordable and accessible to more Filipinos.

“Now that we are moving towards ‘network’ operations, we thought that it is time for us to introduce ourselves to the public and that we are here to help provide better healthcare to our people,” Mr. Palisoc said.

MPHHI, in which listed firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has a 20% economic interest, is on track to expand its hospital network to 20 before the year ends.

“Today, we rename Metro Pacific Hospitals to Metro Pacific Health — symbolizing not only a wider spectrum of investments in health services but also our enhanced mission of responding to the most pressing concern of our people,” MPHHI Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said on Wednesday’s event.

To do this, Mr. Palisoc said MPHHI plans to widen its hospital network which will in turn make running all of the affiliated hospitals easier and standardized.

“If you run your hospitals more efficiently, then in effect you’re able to deliver service at a lower cost,” Mr. Palisoc told reporters on the sidelines of the event.

“Since we buy as a group, we probably buy medicine supplies at the lowest cost now in the country and all of that helps [in] reducing the cost of healthcare in our hospitals,” he added

Aside from widening its hospital network, MPHHI plans to widen its outpatient care centers network by asking its partner hospitals to build their networks.

“[Its number] depends on how fast the individual hospitals implement their satellite strategies,” Mr. Palisoc said.

According to Mr. Palisoc, Davao Doctors Hospital recently opened two care centers in SM City Davao and SM Lanang Premier.

“We are probably just halfway in achieving our dream of a nationwide chain of hospitals and healthcare businesses in all key cities in the Philippines, our way of doing our fair share towards providing Filipinos accessible, dependable, and affordable healthcare,” Mr. Palisoc said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile