MANILA, NOVEMBER 12, 2003 (STAR) By Andrea Cruz - In the crowded cities of Metro Manila, people cool off at the malls. "It is the center of life," says Dr. Eleanor Tan, Health Promotion and Quality Assurance manager of Healthway Medical Clinics. Herself a mother, Dr. Tan knows that housewives and working mothers like the convenience of having a complete healthcare clinic in the mall. Besides, there’s no problem with parking. And you save gas. No need for extra trips to go to different doctors. Imagine, one can shop and go to the doctors under one roof. Have that long-delayed checkup before a movie. (Healthway operates during mall hours even on Sundays.) No more "I am busy at the office" excuse.

Lourdes, 66, and Teodoro Canlapan, 73, value the convenience of seeking medical attention at any of Healthway’s branches. Lourdes, who is a diabetic and a health cardholder, says she goes to Healthway every week for her blood tests. She appreciates how Healthway’s doctors have been solicitously monitoring her condition all these years. Her husband holds a PrivilegeCard and has been using it for the past three years for his ailments.

Now, it’s so convenient for everyone to have a "one-stop-shop" clinic where one can choose from a full range of medical services from experienced doctors – from family medicine, specialists and sub-specialists in pediatrics and obstetrics to gynecologic, internal medicine and surgical fields. You can finish a complete checkup in a day because its latest laboratory and diagnostic equipment are just a step away. You can come back for the results after a week.

Healthway’s homey atmosphere blends with the healthy lifestyle it offers. Cozy sofas and play areas for kids make everyone feel at ease. "It’s almost like a hospital without checking in, and is therefore, less expensive," Dr. Tan adds. It’s even got physical therapy which usually takes a lot of follow-up treatments. And if one has to keep coming back, Healthway in the mall is the most convenient place. You won’t have to miss a therapy session.

Jacqueline Tañada-Tierra, a nurse and Healthway Clinic manager at its newly opened branch in Robinsons Place Ermita says that on any given day, they have six nurses and 10 doctors with different specializations from a pool of 70 doctors. Most of these doctors are also affiliated with other hospitals as visiting consultants. Thus, patients are assured of the same quality of health care they expect from doctors based in hospitals.

Rolando Gosiengfiao, chairman of Healthway Philippines Inc., points to the long list of doctors affiliated with Healthway which are written in brass, plainly visible to passers-by. "Healthway is not just a laboratory where people can have their tests done. It is primarily a caring place where patients can consult with specialists on health matters," he notes.

A typical Healthway clinic has several consultation rooms and minor surgery operating rooms. The waiting area is light and airy, not cramped like most tiny doctor’s offices in the hospitals. This ambience and clinic lay-out resonates in all of Healthway’s branches – having enough consultation rooms to accommodate specialists in various disciplines and surgery rooms, where minor operations such as circumcision, incision, liposuction and even endoscopic procedures can be done.

Waiting time is reduced somewhat with a team of healthcare professionals to attend to patients. And thanks to the cell phone, your companion can wait and text you when you are next.

Healthway clinics are located in strategic locations in major shopping malls. "It just evolved," says Gosiengfiao. "At first, we put the clinics near the business centers; then as our clients grew, we put up clinics near residential areas and now, these clinics are all mall-based." The very first mall clinic was at SM City North Edsa, which now services 500-700 clients a day.

And if you happen to be in another place, your laboratory records can be accessed in any Healthway clinic because the system is networked. "In fact, we are aiming for a paperless office," Lady Dante, marketing manager reveals. Healthway boasts being the first clinic network that utilizes a computerized system that could eventually facilitate electronic delivery of patient records from any Healthway branch to another.

Most Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) tapped Healthway Clinics as their service clinic. So patients can use their health cards in any Healthway Clinic. It’s like a medical ATM. That’s the Healthway lifestyle.

Healthway has customized outpatient medical services for corporate and industrial clients such as pre-employment package and executive checkups, with mobile clinics to service industrial companies.

Healthway also offers its PrivilegeCards to help busy moms and consumers in keeping one’s self and their family healthy. It’s mainly preventive care with unlimited free consultations with Healthway’s in-house internal medicine or family medicine specialists, discounts on all services, plus a free annual physical exam.

Healthway Clinics are located at SM City North EDSA, Robinsons Place Manila, Shangri-La Plaza, Festival Mall in Alabang, Greenbelt Shopping Center and Alabang Town Center.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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