‘Concierge’ medical clinic concept unveiled at BGC » Manila Bulletin News

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By Charina Clarisse Echaluce

A state-type hotel-themed clinic, which gathers over 150 medical specialists, was opened in the Philippines for the first time in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

Medical clinics in the Philippines usually have only one to several doctors and health workers. In other countries, however, people in need of medical assistance rarely go to the hospitals because of the type of clinic which has a number of medical experts or “concierge medicine” system.

‘Concierge’ Clinic — A hotel-themed clinic introduces ‘concierge medicine’ in the country, gathering over 150 medical specialists. The first of its kind was recently opened in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City. (Centre Medicale Internationale Photo)

“We live abroad and we have seen that the medical care abroad is so different from here in the Philippines. If you go to Singapore… people don’t go to hospitals. You go to hospitals when you’re bleeding, you’re in serious condition, or you need to be admitted. But otherwise, there are clinics that should be observing [you],” said Centre Medicale Internationale (CMI) Board of Directors member Dr. Hazel Zuellig.

Calling it a “concierge medicine” system, Zuellig said CMI wants to set an example to other clinics and help the country improve its healthcare system.

“We are the first clinic to introduce concierge medicine in the Philippines. It is new here, [but] it’s everywhere abroad. That’s why we said we will raise the bar of medical services in the country,” she noted.

“Concierge is a French word to describe a hotel employee who stands at the reception area, whose job is to make things comfortable for the guest. You go to the concierge if you want a newspaper, if you want concert tickets, if you want to book some venue. The concierge is there to grant your wishes, it is your genie and your fairy godmother. We are offering concierge medicine in the Philippines…. We have customized healing processes,” Zuellig explained.

In the system, a patient is being guided by the clinic staff from one specialist to another and giving him what he needs.

“‘I only have one day because I’m busy the whole week.’ We will do concierge. We will look for the doctors, so that in one day they have all the specialist they want. No more waiting outside clinics because our experience is we line up in the cardiologist clinic and then we go another day to line up to another specialist. We line up for a checkup, we go back for the results, then show the results to another specialist…. [In this system] you have someone guiding you from the moment you register to the moment you step out. You have an ‘alalay’. You have someone going through the whole process with you; serving you coffee, serving you tea, you have snacks there, eat all you can,” Zuellig noted.

The newly introduced system aims to elevate the status of clinics in the country.

“We’re trying to raise the bar, the standard of medical care,” she said.

Meanwhile, the clinic was designed to be a hotel-type for patients who feel sicker when they are in hospitals because of the ambiance, the crowdedness, among others.

“I have a 97-year-old patient with dementia. Her children cannot bring her to any hospital because she gets agitated when there are a lot of people,” she shared.

“We designed it that way because so you don’t hurry…. It’s meant to be like that, low key, always quiet, never crowded, never noisy, never stressful. It’s a kind of place you want to go to when you’re sick,” she said.

Healing requires piece of mind, added CMI Board of Director member Deogracias Villadolid.

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