When a 97-year-old lady with dementia needed to undergo blood tests and an X-ray, but refused to go to hospitals because she found them agitating, her family brought her to Centre Médicale Internationale (CMI), a health facility in Bonifacio Global City.
There, she not only had all her tests and consultations done without having to wait in line, she was served snacks by the staff in one of CMI’s private suites—which made her feel like a queen, she said.
CMI was also where a visiting foreign national went to have checkups for a number of health issues. He needed physical therapy and wished to shower after the session. To his surprise, a neurologist, rheumatologist and rehab medicine specialist were all available to see him on the afternoon of his appointment.
Operational since April 2017, CMI offers urgent care outpatient (that is, cases that do not require admission) medical services, a relatively new concept among Filipinos who are all too familiar with the scenario of waiting alongside other patients outside doctors’ clinics or in tension-filled hospital emergency rooms (ER).
“Some patients feel that going to the ER makes the wait shorter. But not all medical problems require ER admission, and the ER should be reserved for life-threatening, serious conditions like trauma, stroke and heart attacks,” CMI board director Dr. Hazel Paragua-Zuellig says. “Most conditions that patients consider urgent—like fever, cough, allergies, diarrhea or pain—can actually be treated outside the emergency room, provided the medical expertise and equipment are readily available.”
Though its spanking white upscale interiors and views of lush foliage seen through large glass windows tend to make first-timers forget they’re in a health center, CMI, asserts Dr. Zuellig, is more than a pretty clinic. “What we offer is ‘hard-core’ medicine in a serene environment that guarantees efficiency and privacy,” she says. “It’s the healthcare equivalent of a premium private Swiss bank.”
Covering all the bases of modern urgent healthcare in a single-level layout, the spacious 700-sq m center houses private consultation rooms, suites and diagnostic equipment, and a pharmacy to accommodate primary and specialty care services for family medicine, internal medicine, neurology and psychiatry, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, dental medicine, pain management, rehabilitation treatment.
Fifteen primary care physicians and 40 care specialists (what CMI calls its staff of nurses, physical therapists and lab technicians) are available at regular clinic hours, and over 150 medical consultants spanning 40 specialties and subspecialties can be brought in to attend to a patient’s particular health concerns.
“Each patient is special and unique,” CMI president and medical director Dr. Donn Mc Angelo Valdez says. “We provide them with ‘concierge medicine.’ A patient defines his needs and CMI makes sure those needs are met, whether it be assembling a team of medical specialists or arranging admission to a hospital, if the need arises.”
Walk-in patients and those who call for an appointment are assigned a care specialist who will assist them through the paperwork, tests, consultations and treatment. Depending on the type of test, results can be had from a matter of minutes to 48 hours max, and will be released or e-mailed only with a patient’s (or next of kin’s) written consent.
While the goal is ensuring patients get a clean bill of health, CMI brand and marketing officer Mara Garcia can’t help but notice how they tend to return to the center. “Once they experience CMI’s level of service, they come back with their other family members,” she says. “They like getting medical treatment in a more private and relaxed setting.” —CONTRIBUTED
Centre Médicale Internationale is owned and operated by Z Healthcare Asia Holdings Corp., 2/F, Ore Central Bldg., 31st corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Call 8161035, 8161036; visit cminternationale.com
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