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STI to open medical clinic by mid-December
[November 01, 2006]

STI to open medical clinic by mid-December

(Business World (Philippines) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Learning institution STI Education Services Group is scheduled to open its first medical clinic by mid-December as part of the school's efforts to prepare its nursing graduates for employment.

STI President and Chief Executive Monico V. Jacob told BusinessWorld that the company plans to open a satellite clinic in a 2,200-square meter area located at the fifth floor of SM Megamall in Ortigas, Pasig City.

"We feel very strongly that there is a strong synergy between information technology [IT] and health care and that is where we see the company going," Mr. Jacob said in a recent interview.

The new clinic will be called Urgent Care Clinic. Mr. Jacob said De Los Santos-STI (DLS-STI) Medical Center would operate the clinic. DLS-STI was formed after STI bought a majority stake in De Los Santos Medical Center only in March this year.

STI was largely known as an IT school but it has since branched out to other disciplines.

Mr. Jacob said the clinic would provide complete outpatient services to the public. At the same time, the clinic would provide training, and possible employment, to student and graduates of STI Nursing schools, as well as of DLS-STI College of Health Professions.

Aside from the clinic, he said STI plans to put up a wellness center, with gym facilities for patient rehabilitation in SM Megamall.

Mr. Jacob said the clinic would have 150 doctors that would provide ambulatory medical services for walk-in patients. He added that the clinic would also act as an eye center that provides laser surgery. The clinic would also have integrative medicine and diagnostic services available.

He said the clinic in Megamall will be "the first of many" clinics that STI plans to open in the coming years. He, however, declined to specify how many clinics they plan to put up in the future, as well as the budget they are alloting for these clinics.

STI, formerly known as Systems Technology Institute, started operations in 1983 by offering short-term computer programming courses. From then on, STI implemented a full-scale expansion, offering more courses and setting up more schools nationwide.

In another development, call center firm eTelecare Global Solutions, Inc. will help STI develop a call center agent course after the two entities entered into a memorandum of understanding that seeks to provide an on-the-job-training for STI students enrolled in such course.

"The partnership is part of STI's strategy to take advantage of the growing business process outsourcing [BPO] industry. Prospects for the call center industry in the country remain bright as demand for BPOs continue to increase," said Mr. Jacob in a statement.

The STI-eTelecare call center agent course will be offered at selected STI schools nationwide. Also, eTelecare will also train and certify 10 STI trainers who meet its trainers' profile and standard of qualifications, skills and competencies.

LiveIt Solutions, Inc., the holding company for Ayala Corp.'s investments in the rapidly growing BPO sector, acquired an 11% minority stake in eTelecare for approximately P800 million through its wholly owned special purpose vehicle New Bridge International Investment Ltd.

eTelecare is one of the leading call center companies in Asia as it serves large global clients in the telecommunications, electronics, financial and travel industries. With over 7,000 employees in 12 call centers in the Philippines and the United States, the company reported $41 million in revenues and $3.3 million in operating income for the first quarter of 2006.

STI ventured into the foreign market in 1994 by opening a branch in Hong Kong to cater to the growing Filipino community in the former Crown Colony. There are now two STI branches in Indonesia, and another branch in Vietnam.

From IT courses, STI has developed a comprehensive portfolio of bachelor courses, diploma, and certificate programs in the field of Healthcare, Business, Education, and Engineering.

Currently, STI has a network of more than 100 schools nationwide, and has the largest network of nursing colleges in the country. Aside from DLS- STI, the school has 20 other Nursing campuses nationwide.

STI has also a Nursing course offered at the University of Makati.

Copyright 2006 BusinessWorld (Philippines). Source: Financial Times Information Limited - Asia Intelligence Wire.

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