UPMC to manage hospitals in Cyprus

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The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has reached an agreement with a Cypriot real estate development company to manage two hospitals in Paphos, Cyprus.

Under the 23-year agreement, UPMC will provide senior management, staff training, assistance in equipment purchases and development of information systems for a new 100-bed hospital planned for completion within four years, as well as the existing 36-bed Iasis Hospital in Paphos.

The collaboration is with Paphos Plantations Ltd., which is part of the Leptos Group.

Ultimately, officials intend to offer treatments in oncology, transplantation, cardiology, orthopaedics, minimally invasive surgeries and aesthetics, serving both publicly and privately insured patients.

The idea for UPMC's involvement came from two UPMC staff members who were born in Cyprus, said Charles Bogosta, president of UPMC's international and commercial services division, and came together after two years of talks.

UPMC already manages the independent Beacon Hospital in Dublin, Ireland; two cancer centers in Ireland; and a transplant hospital in Palermo, Italy. It also provides emergency medical services and training in Qatar and is helping Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals in the United Kingdom with electronic medical technology.

Coupled with its other international projects, the Cyprus hospital, "really is ideal from a geographic point of view," said Mr. Bogosta.

The expectation is that 80 percent to 90 percent of the patients treated there will be from the local area, many of whom currently have to travel outside of Cyprus for specialty care.

"We're hoping to cover the needs of the whole island," said Pantelis Solomis, a director for the Leptos Group.

For UPMC's part, Mr. Bogosta said the health system foresees revenues of about $60 million once the hospital is fully operational in five years. With the private contracts they've signed, "this project will generate much higher returns than we could see in Western Pennsylvania."

Although the hospitals will be largely staff by local professionals, Mr. Bogosta said staff from Pittsburgh would rotate in for two to three weeks for special projects, three to six months for supervisory or training purposes or one to two years for "hands on" work running the facility.

Mr. Solomis said the hospital was part of a master plan development in southern Cyprus that will include a university as well as a research center, office park and luxury housing, and retail and entertainment facilities. He said the development is located in Cyprus' primary resort area.

He also said they were in preliminary talks with the University of Pittsburgh about possible involvement with the Cyprus university, due to open in 2010 for 3,000 students.

Steve Twedt can be reached at stwedt@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1963.


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