Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said construction of the new medical specialty center inside the Clark Freeport Zone will start this month.
The multi-specialty hospital that will serve Central and Northern Luzon will break ground on July 17. The hospital will be constructed under Executive Order No. 19, issued by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., directing the establishment of the Philippine Heart Center in the Clark Freeport Zone.
“It will be starting as a general hospital and then (it will) move up to a children’s hospital, and then a cardiac specialty, then the kidney specialty,” Herbosa said.
Herbosa said the project will have the same plans as the public specialty hospitals in Quezon City. Once the project is completed, patients in Central and Northern Luzon will no longer have to travel to Metro Manila to obtain specialized medical services.
“It will just be like what we have in the North Triangle of Quezon City, wherein you have all the different specialties, and (this time) it will be in that corridor in Clark. That will cover Central and Northern Luzon cases of heart, lung, kidney, and even cancer,” he said.
Herbosa noted it has long been the Department of Health’s effort to replicate specialty hospitals across the country, since the passage of the Sin Tax Law which helped fund programs in the healthcare sector.
He cited the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) Heart, Lung, and Kidney Center, and Davao City’s Southern Philippines Medical Center that also houses specialty services.
“Many of these places that have been built through the sin tax money have now eye centers, dermatology centers, cancer centers but it’s not getting the news. But the services are now available to people outside Metro Manila,” he said.
Herbosa added that the projects will be undertaken under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
“We’re harnessing the private sector. I’d like to commend the private sector—they’ve been helping us a lot, reaching out, (saying) that they’re willing to help. The government alone can’t do it. The private sector also has a role in improving our health services and specialty services,” Herbosa said.