MANILA, Philippines – In rapidly evolving industries such as health care, advancements are radical and often dictated by changing lifestyles. New medical breakthroughs get adopted each day in the four corners of the world, and institutions are applying fresh approaches to patient care.

Visionaries take these developments as bright opportunities. In the Philippines, premium real еstatе developer Century Properties has recognized the global transformative shift from curative to preventive care for the value that it offers to patients and to another industry – medical tourism.

An encompassing shift

The concept of the outpatient IT-medical center called Centuria Medical Makati began as Century Properties chairman Jose E.B. Antonio wanted to unravel and maximize the country’s untapped potential as a medical tourism destination.

At an investment forum, Antonio expressed his thoughts on his advocacy.

“We’re very bullish about the prospects of medical tourism in the Philippines considering that the cost of treatments in the Philippines is one-third of what you would pay in the United States,” he said.

“We have capable, good doctors. The fact is most of our doctors are well-educated. We have the best nurses all over the world. We Filipinos deliver a service with our signature warmth and genuine care. And the only thing we need to provide in order to serve this market are the facilities. This world-class medical arts building in the Philippines is going to be the first of its kind–our contribution to help push medical tourism,” Antonio said.

As Century Properties was firming up his plans for the 28-storey medical arts center with more than 500 clinics, outpatient care was also a growing industry in the west.

The shift was observed in the United States in several studies. According to one done by The Texas Ambulatory Surgery Center Society, more than 70 percent of surgeries in the US are performed in the outpatient setting.

Likewise, leading global management consulting firm McKinsey Global Institute found that 65 percent of all healthcare services in the US are already being delivered in outpatient contexts. Additionally, outpatient care accounts for two-thirds of US healthcare spending, making it the fastest growing cost component.

A number of reasons contributed to the drop of inpatient stays and the rise of outpatient care. Among these are scaled-down costs and new technologies that make an outpatient setting convenient. Similarly, technologies available in an outpatient setting have become better and reliable which result in many surgical and other procedures becoming less invasive, reducing the need for hospital admissions.

“There has been a major shift from inpatient to outpatient care. Patients no longer spend a week to 10 weeks in the hospital while recovering from surgery. They go home in two to three days and are expected to care for themselves or have family members or hired help to assist them,” the nurse Kathy Quan wrote in The Health Care Shortage: Causes and Solutions.

Outpatient care also promotes wellness and disease prevention – a more proactive approach to health.

Centuria at the forefront

Armed with a background in building medical arts centers, Century Properties had set out to create a new-age outpatient medical facility to serve both medical tourists and locals. While its predecessors, the Medical Plazas of Makati and Ortigas, solely consisted of doctors’ clinics, Centuria will fully integrate all the conveniences needed by doctors to deliver excellent outpatient care in the Philippines.

The center’s construction is now on its finishing stages and is scheduled for turnover to clinic space owners by the end of 2014.

Centuria has the IT backbone to support doctors who use Internet and other telecommunications systems, electronic medical records and picture archiving communications systems in their practice.

Additionally, there are floors dedicated to support facilities for the convenience of both doctors and patients. These include a hospital-grade day surgery center, recovery suites, a radiology center, a pharmacy and a diagnostic laboratory that will be run by Hi-Precision Diagnostics.

Providing consultancy for Centuria’s day surgery infrastructure design is GE Healthcare, which is globally recognized not just for its medical equipment and healthcare solutions but also its extensive medical infrastructure consultancy services.

Centuria Medical Makati is conveniently located in the heart of Makati, right across the new Century City Mall, and guarantees easy access to and from offices, major banking establishments, residential communities, and top hotels.

For doctors, Centuria serves as a platform to a progressive, successful and fulfilling profession as it helps them develop an independent private practice complemented by the property’s core healthcare services and facilities.

Patients will also find Centuria a refreshing departure from traditional clinics.  The property is designed with a spacious lobby with a warm and welcoming healing environment.

For medical tourists, Centuria’s medical concierge service will assist in their consultation scheduling, shuttle and hotel bookings, as well as flight arrangements should they wish to tour the Philippines. To further facilitate ease of visit, ample parking space and valet will be provided. An ambulance service will also be made available in cases of emergency.

Source: The Philippine Star | October 6, 2014