Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Top Japanese firm keen on Subic medical center

The Tokushukai Medical Group, Japan's largest medical services provider, has expressed interest in making the Subic Freeport its next health and medical training hub in Asia.

This was bared by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Alfredo Antonio during the recent visit of Dr. Takao Suzuki, president and chief executive officer of the Tokushukai Medical Group.

"We are pleased that a prestigious company like Tokushukai is looking at the possibility of putting up a center for its operations here. Subic can be a very strategic location for a medical facility of this nature," Antonio told The STAR.

Antonio stressed the importance of having a central medical center here that will not only cater to Subic and Olongapo but also to nearby provinces like Bataan, Zambales and even Pampanga.

"The idea of a world-class medical center here in Subic is very commendable because not only does it take out the burden of going to Manila for treatment but now, (people from) nearby areas like Zambales, Bataan and Subic can get medical treatment here," he said.

Accompanying the Tokushukai delegation to Subic was Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross. Suzuki earlier had expressed to the senator his interest in setting up a medical facility here.

"Subic can very well accommodate Tokushukai. The presence of an airport and a seaport can be utilized to bring in medical equipment and goods as well as patients from all over the Asian region," Gordon said.

He also cited Subic's potential as a retirement facility for elderly Japanese who cannot stand the cold winter season in Japan.

"The center can also be a retirement facility that can host Japanese senior citizens who cannot stand the cold weather in Japan. This would be a good boost to our country's tourism," he added.

The Tokushukai group was given a briefing and a tour of possible sites for the medical center such as the former naval magazine area and the Upper Mau section of Cubi Point.

Tokushukai is currently the largest medical services provider in Japan, and has 217 medical facilities worldwide, including 57 general hospitals.

The company is also committed to set up a 1,000-bed, $100-million hospital in the Philippines.

The hospital, which will be called the Benigno Aquino Memorial Hospital, will cater to Filipinos, foreigners and Japanese nationals residing in the country and those who may travel to the Philippines to benefit from lower medical costs.


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