PUERTO PRINCESA CITY: The Allied Care Experts (ACE) Medical Center Group of Hospitals broke ground here Friday for a 10-story, 200-bed capacity tertiary medical center that will offer modern hospital facilities to Palaweños.
Dr. Geanie Cerna-Lopez, vice president of the ACE Medical Center Group, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) at the groundbreaking ceremony on an 8,000-square meter property in Barangay San Pedro that the hospital, which would become ACE Medical Center Palawan, will take two years to construct, and will have malls, coffee shops, and a park.
The floor area would occupy 4,000 square meters, and the group would invest around P500 to P600 million.
Aside from taking care of the medical and health needs of the residents, Lopez said the hospital would also contribute to Puerto Princesa’s and Palawan’s economies by offering about 500 jobs.
“We start first with 100 beds, so we can employ around 250 workers. But if the 200 beds become fully operational, then we add 250 more. Roughly, like that many,” she said.
The future state-of-the-art medical center will put up cancer, endoscopy, diabetic, wellness, and other specialty centers to cater to the needs of Palaweños.
ACE is open for local investors too, said Lopez. This means that Palaweños who invest P150,000 can enjoy discounts of up to 50 percent on their bills.
“The investors would lessen our need to take loans, but even if we don’t reach our target of number of investors, the banks have assured us that they will help us in this project,” she said.
Lopez said hospital beds are still lacking in Palawan, and this is what attracted their group to invest.
“The hospital bed population ratio of Puerto Princesa alone is 1.1 only; the normal and recommended is 2 per 1,000. Here it’s only 1.1, and the entire Palawan province, it’s only 1.9; still not enough. This is the reason why we answered positively on the invitation to help Palaweños take care of their health,” Lopez added.
Vice Governor Dennis Socrates, who attended the groundbreaking ceremony, said the future hospital would be a “welcome development because Palawan needs more hospitals.”
“It’s a welcome development because we need more hospital facilities, and right now, we don’t have enough and we expect our population to triple in the next several years because of massive in-migration. And this is not even enough, we need more investments like this from the private sector,” said the vice governor.