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23 April 2024

Pittsburgh centre will set up 25 oncology clinics

Many healthcare companies see huge growth in the region. (PATRICK CASTILLO)

By Sreenivasa Rao Dasari

Twenty-five oncology clinics will be opened over a 10-year period in the Middle East and Europe by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC), a global healthcare business.

And UPMC is considering establishing centres in other countries as it seeks to tackle cancer and raise the global standard of healthcare.

"We are in the process of identifying the countries in Europe and the Middle East where we will set up 25 oncology centres," Simona Abbro, UPMC's International Marketing Director, told Emirates Business.

"We see a greater need for treatment facilities for the increasing number of cancer patients in the region. We estimate that one out of three people gets cancer in Europe against the ratio of one in 20 that was seen 20 years ago." The centres will offer advanced diagnosis and radiotherapy treatment in patients' homes.

"We find that most cancer patients wait for months to get advanced treatment," added Abbro.

"To address this problem we are setting up oncology centres with a focus on developed and developing nations. Countries such as Germany, Turkey, Greece, South Korea and Qatar are under consideration.

"We have entered into an agreement with GE Healthcare, which would as a strategic supplier provide medical equipment for our global initiative. We are also actively forging long-term partnerships with global majors from the technology and healthcare sectors."

UPMC is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and employs more than 50,000 professionals across research and development, technology applications and other commercial activities.

The $7 billion (Dh25.6bn) firm offers one of the largest cancer care delivery systems in the United States and is in the process of spreading its focus to medicine, research and technology.

"UPMC is affiliated to the University of Pittsburgh and has 42 oncology centres in western Pennsylvania and two in Ireland. We have also developed an emergency medical system in Qatar and are implementing IT solutions at hospitals in the UK."

The oncology centres work on a regional hub-and-satellite structure.

Oncology specialists take care of in-patient and specialised treatment at the hubs, while outpatient care is offered at more than 30 satellite centres.

UPMC has awarded $300 million contract to Alcatel-Lucent for the development of an IP network project to provide improved communication. It has set up a start-up with GE Healthcare with an investment of $40m for developing and marketing digital pathology systems.

Other major projects include a $367m project for developing IT infrastructure.

For this it has partnered with IBM on an eight-year deal.