UPMC plans China expansion

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center plans to bring its healthcare services to China, UPMC officials told employees in a recent internal newsletter.

"Today we are looking at China as one of our primary targets for expansion," Chuck Bogosta, president of UPMC's International and Commercial Services Division, said in a statement. "To be a significant global healthcare provider, we know that we need to have a presence in the Asian market. The biggest challenge is finding the right partners."

But that might not be much of a problem for the non-profit health enterprise. Even though exploratory talks in China began less than a year ago, UPMC said it already has a "strong pipeline of potential projects, primarily in Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou," reports the Pittsburgh Business Times.

The potential projects involve working with academic hospitals or private healthcare hospitals, as well as developing cancer centers, second-opinion service for pathology and hospital management agreements, said Bogosta.

The UPMC office in Beijing will be headed by Travis Tu, a Taiwan native who spent nine years in China working for other hospital companies. According to UPMC officials, Tu will focus on finding opportunities in China and South Korea.

This expansion follows the lead of Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic, both of which already have an active presence in western Asia. The Mayo Clinic sent its first cardiologists to the United Arab Emirates in 2003. The Cleveland Clinic manages the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi, and will operate a new hospital in 2013.

For more:
- read the Pittsburgh Business Times article
- read the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article