Children's Hospital of Philadelphia goes global in partnership with United Arab Emirates

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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is the latest U.S. provider to take its brand overseas. (Pixabay)

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has signed an agreement with the United Arab Emirates to provide pediatric care to children in the UAE. 

CHOP and the United Arab Emirates have had a "longstanding alliance," according to an announcement from the hospital. In January, CHOP joined forces with the UAE's only children's hospital, Al Jalila Children's, to create a neurology outreach program built with telemedicine.

In October, the hospital also signed an agreement with the UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention to launch a pediatric consultancy program. Nine CHOP specialists also work in the United Arab Emirates alongside local clinicians. 

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"We are honored to formalize CHOP's relationship with the UAE," Madeline Bell, the hospital's CEO, said in the announcement. "Our ability to offer expert care for the country's most medically complex children underscores our mission of creating breakthroughs for children around the world." 

U.S. hospitals and health systems are increasingly spreading their reach overseas. Steward Health Care System announced a partnership similar to CHOP's earlier this year, where it joined forces with Malta's government to operate several hospitals in the European nation. 

RELATED: Some U.S. hospitals perform liver transplants on foreign nationals, while American patients are on long wait lists 

After its merger with IASIS Healthcare, Steward, the largest private hospital operator in the U.S., will also build and run new facilities on the Malta campus of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. 

Cleveland Clinic is also eyeing partnerships in China in an effort to grow its brand beyond the U.S. borders. It signed a management consulting agreement last summer with an entity that plans to open a new hospital in Shanghai, the first such deal under its global affiliation program. 

Massachusetts General Hospital also assisted in construction of a hospital in Shanghai.

RELATED: Medical tourism market grows as patients travel to and from the U.S. 

Other American providers see China as a key target for international expansion, too. City of Hope National Medical Center, a 193-bed cancer hospital based in Los Angeles, has partnered with several Chinese hospitals to share expertise.

City of Hope physicians work in a "remote second opinion" program, where they will consult with Chinese doctors and offer their take on diagnoses. The doctors do not speak directly with patients, though, as American physicians are not allowed to practice in China.

Chuck Bogosta, president of UPMC International, said going global offers another revenue stream for health systems, and allows for providers to grow their reputations.

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