AC Health to boost expansion of FamilyDOC clinics

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By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

THE health care unit of Ayala Corp. (AC) looks to end the year with more than 80 FamilyDOC clinics, as it continues to be on the lookout for partnerships to expand its existing facilities.

Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (AC Health) Chief Executive Officer Paolo Maximo F. Borromeo said the company is on track with its expansion plans, which involves putting up 1,000 Generika drugstores and 100 FamilyDOC clinics by 2020.

“We’re on track with our expansion plans. We’re very excited about where we are with Generika and with FamilyDOC, we have over 50 clinics now. And by (2019), we should have over 80 clinics. Our target is still 100, but that’s only here in Greater Manila Area,” Mr. Borromeo told BusinessWorld on the sidelines of the AC Health Leadership Summit in Makati last month.

AC Health holds a 50% stake in Generika Drugstore following its partnership with the Ferrer family in 2015, which owns the other half.

“We invested in Generika drugstore to help expand the reach of generic medicines, which provide Filipinos up to 80% savings versus branded equivalents,” AC President and Chief Operating Officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala said in a speech during the event.

“We also believe that Filipinos deserve quality, primary care, and as such, have been investing to expand our FamilyDOC clinics across more communities where access to basic health services have historically been limited.”

Asked if the company is planning to put up FamilyDOC clinics in the provinces, Mr. Borromeo said they have yet to draw up such plans.

“We haven’t thought of it yet. But if we do go outside of Metro Manila, our focus will be the big cities like Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, and in those cases, what I’d like to do is work with someone, with a local partner preferably that will give us large health care in those municipalities,” Mr. Borromeo explained.

PARTNERSHIPS

The AC Health executive noted that while they cannot disclose any agreements yet, they continue to look for partnership opportunities that will allow them to invest in existing hospitals, or to build new facilities from the ground up.

“Moving forward, we’re looking at investing in the hospital and specialty care space to complete the continuum of care for our patients. We believe this ecosystem view is important in delivering integrated quality, and affordable services,” Mr. Zobel said.

AC Health has been steadily expanding its portfolio. Last December, it acquired a 75% stake in Negros Grace Pharmacy, Inc., broadening its footprint in the Visayas.

The company is also investing in technologies that could potentially disrupt the health care industry in the future. For instance, the company acquired a minority stake in a home health app called Aide, which allows patients to book doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to provide health care services at home. It also has investments in online pharmacy MedGrocer.

AC booked a net income attributable to the parent of P23.86 billion in the first nine months of 2018, 3% higher year-on-year, on the back of an 18% uptick in gross revenues to P201.68 billion.

Mikka Cruz