Friday, December 10, 2010

University Physicians Medical Center

I am a practical woman. Though I believe in pursuing rights and privileges, I try to weigh things and lean towards worthwhile, feasible and efficient options. I find the conversion of the old Dispensary Building (former location of the Out-Patient Department of Philippine General Hospital) advantageous. More than an answer to local brain drain (highly competent professionals being lured by private companies for obvious reasons), the University Physicians Medical Center (UPMC) answers the need of middle class Filipinos for quality healthcare facilities and services.

UPMC Lobby
Despite the government's effort to provide medical assistance through Philhealth, many still can not afford the services of top-notch medical providers holding consultations in Makati Medical Center, St. Luke's Hospital, Asian Hospital and The Medical City among others. For the middle class, these services can only be accessed through the power of one's plastic (the credit card). Though health insurance is widely available, buying a health plan is not so popular. It's even more difficult for those who have to pay cash. Ironically for a third-world country, the Ipad is more widely sought than most basic needs.

UPMC Pharmacy
Going back, I went along the Blogger's Tour of the rehabilitated Faculty Medical Arts Building (FMAB). Some doctors have started holding consultations in the facility, but it will only be officially inaugurated in January 2011. Interested to grab an office in the FMAB? You have to be a UPM faculty member. The Daniel Mercado Medical Center (DMMC), managing fiscal and non-clinical operations of UPMC, estimates around 300 physicians out of 700 University Physician practitioners will be holding clinics at the renovated FMAB.

UPMC aims to provide quality health services 25% lower than top Manila-based hospitals, pegging consultations around Php400 to Php500. With 11 Departments, the multi-specialty outpatient facility is a one-stop shop for healthcare needs. They will start offering Executive Check-up Packages that cater to clients with different health conditions based on health history. With a centralized HMO processing (all physicians are accredited), the facility provides easier access to diagnosis and treatment of top causes of mortality in the Philippines like heart disease, colon and breast cancer (with painless and non-invasive diagnostic equipment such as Virtual Clonoscopy), and diabetes is available at the facility. Help can be obtained from experts in allergies, scoliosis, and injuries incurred in sports among others. The center is equipped with 64 slicer CT Scan, 1.5 T MRI, Digital Fluoroscopy, Mammography, and Radiography.

I am looking forward to getting my son checked for the possibility of a Seminoma in his chest. Though, I am hoping that by then he no longer needs an operation. The Pediatrics Department is a comprehensive resource of child-care specialists.

UPMC President and CEO Edwin M. Mercado, MD, demonstrating how specimens are sent to the laboratory

UPMC features an ambulatory surgicenter where after recovering from surgery, patients can go home and arrangements (in cooperation with the UP College of Nursing) will be made for home service post-surgery care. This will immensely remove associated hospitalization cost. I wonder what the rates are for home service arrangements. Healthcare at home has been popular for some time in the states and I am glad that we're catching up. This means more local opportunities for Filipino qualified nurses and caregivers. Aside from the elderly, the disabled and patients who need critical care can now get medical attention from the comfort of their home.

UPMC Reading Room
UPMC will provide healthcare incentives to UPM and PGH employees. As with the trend of national brands, they are working on loyalty programs to encourage more patrons. I hope they can extend some incentives to UP Alumni to maintain loyalty and support for the UP system's programs and services.

Controversies and system-wide outrage have haunted the UP System since plans of privatization had been laid during the 90s. UP, despite complaints from different factions that it badly needs rehabilitation and upgrading, continue to fight for students' rights to free/subsidized education. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I think it's about time the administrators push for independence despite the government's responsibility to allocate sufficient funding for its operation.



I didn't know that the Faculty Arts Medical Building will soon be open. Last I heard, it was still under construction. Still, I'm glad that this will happen since it will be beneficial for a lot of people. And thank you very much for sharing this.

If you have time, can you please answer my survey regarding blogging? I'm a graduating student from UP Manila and this is for my thesis. It will only take you a couple of minutes and confidentiality will be observed. Thanks. :)


Yes, UPMC will help a lot of people. But I also hope they don't negatively impact PGH's operations. Moreover, they're targeting different markets, so I hope there's no chance they'd have problems later.

Thanks for dropping by Tiff,

answered your survey. Goodluck on your thesis!

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