By Anna Gabriela A. Mogato
THE local branch of Fullerton Healthcare Corp., Ltd. has secured a $40 million long-term loan from International Finance Corp. (IFC) to develop its vertically integrated managed care services in the country.
In a statement made on Wednesday, Fullerton Health Philippines Holdings Corporation and Fullerton Health Philippines Pte Ltd will be using the loan from the World Bank Group member to further integrate financing and healthcare provision.
This is in a bid to improve the health maintenance organization (HMO) markets, the company said. The loan will also be used to expand HMOs nationwide and improve working opportunities in the healthcare sector.
“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 added.
Fullerton Health expressed its intention to enter the Philippine market last December 2017 after announcing that it will acquire a 60% stake in managed care services provider Intellicare Group. The acquisition was completed last May 18.
The firm’s Chief Financial Officer Tam Chee Chong in the statement said that having IFC onboard as a long-term partner “validates our strategic partnership with the Intellicare Group to deliver a holistic approach to managed healthcare in the Philippines.”
IFC Director for East Asia and the Pacific Vivek Pathak in the same statement cited the need for high quality and affordable healthcare to ensure long-term sustainable development. This is particularly true in the Philippines, which Mr. Patak noted to have a “wide gap in health insurance coverage.”
“[The g]rowth of Intellicare and other companies in this segment will help reduce low and middle-income households’ reliance on out-of-pocket payments to fund healthcare expenses,” Mr. Pathak said.
IFC has supported more than 100 companies in the Philippines since 1962, investing more than $3 billion in the same period.
Its committed portfolio for reducing the impact of climate change, increasing rural incomes, promoting sustainable urbanization, and addressing governance constraints is at $763.8 million as of December 2017.