Healthway Cancer Care Hospital advances holistic care at a reasonable price | Healthcare Asia Magazine
, Philippines
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Healthway Cancer Care Hospital

Healthway Cancer Care Hospital advances holistic care at a reasonable price

Expect a quality of life and survivorship programme catering to the overall patient journey.

Branded the Philippines’ first comprehensive cancer hospital, Healthway Cancer Care Hospital (HCCH), located in Taguig City in Metropolitan Manila, has dedicated itself to offering a holistic approach to patient care and services at more sensible costs.

In a recently conducted tour, Healthcare Asia explored the hospital’s current facilities and technologies.

Focusing on better care, HCCH has established a department for quality of life (QoL) and survivorship that goes beyond the usual treatments to address other aspects of a patient’s overall journey, such as psychosocial implications.

Dr. Manuel Roxas, HCCH’s medical director, said the department includes pain control, nutrition, cancer rehabilitation and prehabilitation, as well as programmes for enhanced recovery and palliative care.

A focus on patient-centric care

As part of its QoL initiative, the 106-bed hospital features rooms specifically designed based on inputs from focus group discussions with different patient groups.

Privacy is a paramount consideration for the way the rooms were made. Add to that the intent to maximise space whilst giving patients a more “homey” feeling with the inclusion of windows for sunlight and artworks from Don Jaime Zobel de Ayala.

Notably, the hospital’s ward area, called “quads”, is fully divided into four rooms instead of the usual curtain setup observed in other institutions.

Meanwhile, the hospital’s chemotherapy centre features 16 reclining chairs and two beds separated by walls to ensure patients receive comfort and privacy, with a nearby oncology pharmacy for easier access to chemotherapy meds.

HCCH’s facilities include an outdoor garden to promote faster recovery for ambulating patients and a prayer room that can accommodate multiple religions for inclusivity.

A collaborative approach

HCCH distinguishes itself with its four centres of excellence, focusing on colorectal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, and head and neck cancer. But what really sets it apart from the competition is its team-based approach to delivering care.

Dr. Conrado Lorenzo III, chairman of HCCH’s Medical Advisory Council, emphasised that cancer care has to be collaborative as it evolves into a more complex management system.

“We ensure all our patients are subjected to a multidisciplinary team of doctors, or a tumour board, allowing them to exchange ideas and blend inputs, depending on their subspecialty,” Lorenzo added.

HCCH houses multispecialty clinics that range from a cardiopulmonary unit to a specialisation in stoma wound care with doctors encouraged to practice their specialities by waiving clinic space rents.

The hospital also features a women’s health unit complete with gynaecologic oncology clinics and a breast centre which offers screening services through mammography and ultrasound devices.

Optimising costs

Truly committed to quality service, HCCH aims to make cancer care affordable for patients. “Our goal is to be the most cost-competitive in the Philippines,” said Paolo Borromeo, president and CEO of AC Health.

When asked what strategies are implemented to optimise costs, Healthway Medical Network CEO Jaime Ysmael said that they are adopting a multifaceted approach to making cancer care affordable.

“It starts with equipment,” Ysmael asserted. “We are very fortunate to have partnered with Siemens Healthineers and Varian, our supplier for the linear accelerator. There’s also Cancer Treatment Services International, a healthcare consultancy firm that helped us set up this operation.”

Borromeo emphasised that aside from leveraging their network, AC Health’s pharmaceutical group allows them to bring in more affordable medicine.

“We can provide cost-competitive products for our patients, especially those undergoing therapy,” Borromeo said.

Meanwhile, Ysmael highlighted increasing utilisation as another key to optimising costs. “By going after volumes, rather than price, we believe that we can make it affordable and at the same time, expand, aligning with AC Health’s vision to spend the benefits of healthcare on more Filipinos,” he said.

Future expansion

With the HCCH now set for operations, AC Health plans to further expand its network throughout the country.

“AC Health’s vision is to touch one out of every five Filipinos,” stressed Borromeo,

He mentioned that the group is currently looking into partnerships and other growth opportunities.

“We are looking to expand in the major cities in the Philippines, particularly Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao through a combination of partnerships and acquisition opportunities,” Borromeo said. “Aside from that, we have various other clinical and strategic partnerships that we will be announcing shortly.”

Recently, the hospital has entered a partnership with the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) to further strengthen cancer care in the Philippines.

Ysmael also said they have been tapping local government units (LGUs) for partnerships that would continue serving the healthcare needs in different areas.

“We are also partnering with patient groups to ensure that we are mostly able to offer our services and in the education aspect as there is a need to educate people on the different types of diseases and how to make sure these are addressed,” he added.

At present, AC Health’s network consists of six hospitals, 15 multi-specialty clinics, and over 250 corporate clinics across the country.

 

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