The Medical City Clark (TMC Clark), the first hospital that The Medical City constructed as part of its strategy to develop a national healthcare network, celebrates its fifth anniversary this January 2020 as it works to become the Referral Center of not only Central Luzon but Northern Luzon as well.
Since he took over as the Chief Executive Officer of TMC Clark less than a year ago, Dr. Almario Jabson, a neurosurgeon, said he, the management team and staff have been working hard to launch more services so that TMC Clark will eventually be known as the referral hospital in the region.
“We were able to purchase a stroboscopy, telemetry, sleep laboratory, hemodialysis and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation expansion, ultrasound, Hospital information system, among others.” Dr. Jabson
In addition to purchasing the equipment needed by their doctors, Dr. Jabson said TMC Clark was able to raise the salaries of their nurses three times “just to be competitive.”
“We were able to raise the marketing budget as well,” he said. “Marketing is crucial because if you are targeting TMC Clark to be a referral center, Marketing should be well equipped.”
TMC Clark has capabilities and expertise to serve complicated and complex cases. This means that patients will no longer have to travel to Manila just to avail of these services. TMC Clark offers more than general hospital services like laboratory or radiology services. It offers a more comprehensive and patient-centered set of specialty centers like the Cardiovascular Center, Breast Center, Center for Occupational Health, Center for Kidney health and Transplantation.
“The ultimate goal is that TMC Clark will complement and supplement the healthcare capability of the existing and nearby hospitals,” Dr. Jabson said. “Instead of competition, TMC Clark is gearing towards cooperation and partnerships, the true and only way for a sustainable delivery of healthcare in the country.”
TMC Clark formally opened its doors to serve patients in Central Luzon in January 2015. At that time, TMC saw that TMC Clark had multiple and complementary strategic opportunities. Being situated next to an international airport, it was seen as an excellent staging area for penetrating the global market, including the choice Middle East niche.
TMC Clark is also working towards creating its own Cancer Center. For Dr. Jabson, building a Cancer Center requires the presence of four elements – Chemotherapy Infusion Unit, Genomics and Molecular Support, Nuclear Medicine and the purchase of a Linear Accelerator.
“It is wrong to label a center a Cancer Center if it only has a linear accelerator, TMC Clark already has the first two elements and we hope to open the Nuclear Medicine unit this year,” he said. “Hopefully, we will be able to achieve the fourth phase in two to three years’ time and that will be a real cancer center. For now, we will concentrate on expanding the laboratory, opening a one-stop-shop Out-Patient Department and acquiring the PET-CT.”
Dr. Jabson has also been working hard to foster closer relationships with TMC Clark’s doctors. He admitted that he has been playing catch up since he assumed the CEO position and that he has been studying and prioritizing the doctors’ requests.
“What we are doing is we are giving some of the things within reason to the doctors since we are on a catch up mode,” he said. “We have doctors here who are relatively young and have a lot of energy but they are great.”
He added that these young doctors should be “given five to ten years and they will reach a certain level of maturity. They just need to grow with the institution and they will boom together with the hospital in that period of time.” The growth of the doctors, he explained, will parallel that of the hospital.
“I want to be known as the person who steered TMC Clark towards sustainability, profitablilty and what it is supposed to be,” Dr. Jabson said. “I want to be known as someone who transformed TMC Clark into something it was meant to be for. It is not meant to be a community hospital. It was meant to be something bigger and I want to be known as the person who transformed the hospital.”