The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) plans to establish 25 cancer centres in Europe, the Middle East and Asia in the coming decade in a joint venture with GE Healthcare.
Furthermore, UPMC is already in discussions with hospitals in Turkey, Greece, Germany and South Korea. Egypt's health minister has contacted UPMC about possibly developing a cancer center there.
UPMC currently operates two cancer centers in Ireland.
The goal is to bring a higher level of cancer treatment to areas where patients currently have access to only basic radiation oncology or basic surgical oncology. The planned UPMC centres will be able to offer specialised treatments such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy, which can target a tumor with high dosages while without disturbing healthy tissue.
The collaboration is an extension of a 20-year relationship with GE Healthcare based in the UK, which specialises in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems and other patient care services. The centres will purchase and use GE Healthcare equipment. In exchange, GE Healthcare will offer its international expertise in determining the best markets for the centres, based on the reimbursement structure of a particular site, expected patient flow, the regulatory and political climate and potential cultural barriers.
"We are in 100 countries. We know the healthcare market around the globe," said Jim Torres, GE Healthcare's general manager for global funding operations. "What we bring to the agreement is global knowledge, knowledge of healthcare and state-of-the-art technical equipment."
Although there will be variations from country to country, revenue margins overseas are typically higher than in the US.