Why Harvard Medical School is opening a medical campus in the United Arab Emirates

Harvard Medical School is planning a medical campus in the United Arab Emirates. Some interesting points:

. . . there are enormous hurdles to fostering US-style health care in a region where medicine is so spotty that the 100 million Persian Gulf residents spend $25 billion a year getting treatment elsewhere, according to Dubai Healthcare City officials. Many medical school students enroll straight out of high school and receive little training to keep up with advances after they finish.

. . . By the late 1990s, the World Health Organization had identified diabetes as an epidemic that threatened to bankrupt governments in the Middle East if they did not take action. Doctors believe that genetic factors, such as traditional intermarriage of cousins, and lifestyle issues, such as their increasingly Westernized diet and limited exercise because of the heat, put Arabs at heightened risk for the disease.

. . . Arab interest in importing American medicine comes at an opportune time for medical schools and hospitals that have been battered by the limits on income as a result of managed care and a leveling off of private donations. . . the center eventually will bring in $4 million to $5 million a year in revenue.

Could exporting health care be a trend? Certainly everyone seems to benefit – foreign countries getting a taste of US-style healthcare, and US institutions finding an additional source of revenue.

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