Big QC hospital for sale: Financially struggling amid huge demand for health care?

Published July 9, 2021, 12:26 PM

by Ben Rosario

The offer to sell a tertiary hospital in Quezon City has fueled speculations that private health care establishments are struggling financially as a result of the on-going public health crisis triggered by the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

MEDICAL CHECK UP

Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Mike Defensor revealed that the 148-bed Commonwealth Hospital and Medical Center (CHMC) is being offered for P2.8 billion by the 26 “founding shareholders”, most of them doctors.

Defensor said the CHMC is located in the Fairview-Novaliches-Quirino Avenue area and is accessible to populous communities Bulacan and Caloocan City.

Defensor said he has obtained a notice to stockholders that indicated the decision to sell the hospital.

“Are health care establishments struggling due to the raging health crisis? If they are, what help could government agencies like the Department of Health and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) extend to them?” he asked.

However, the administration lawmaker is also entertaining the possibility that investors in hospitals are cashing in on their investments and big corporations are taking advantage of the situation to strengthen their foothold in the health care sector.

“Corporations are organized for profit, and they are buying up hospitals because the business of treating the sick is highly profitable,” he said.

Defensor said the notice to stockholders issued by the CHMC corporate secretary last June 29 showed that 26 “founding shareholders,” mostly doctors, were selling their 254,800 shares worth P11,068.07 each for a total of P2.8 billion, or P108.5 million per founder.

He added that “common stockholders” were given one month from June 28 or until July 27 to exercise their right of first refusal by buying all the shares or these would be offered to interested buyers.

Defensor said a doctor who is a CHMC stockholder has complained that they have yet to be given their stock certificates.

“It’s impossible for us to buy all those founders’ shares. Where will we get P2.8 billion?” the lawmaker quoted the doctor as saying.

He said his constituent estimated that there are 300 shareholders, mostly young doctors, who have not been issued their stock certificates since the hospital was founded in 2009.

“They are now studying their legal options,” he said.

 
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