Abu Dhabi’s VPS Healthcare expects to develop one of its hospitals into a specialised paediatric centre next year after striking a deal with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Chop).
It means the hospital group would be able to tap into the pool of doctors and medical personnel at one of the oldest US paediatric hospitals, who would visit the UAE for patient care, medical education and patient referrals.
“Paediatrics is a niche area and there is a wide gap in paediatric care in the region,” said Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, the managing director of VPS Healthcare. “We are studying the subspecialities, and what is not available here in paediatric care.”
Last year, VPS Healthcare emerged as a potential bidder for London-listed Al Noor Hospitals along with the South African hospital chain Mediclinic. VPS eventually pulled out, along with Abu Dhabi’s NMC.
“We have similar portfolios, the valuation was also not attractive, and we have one of the largest number of beds,” Dr Vayalil said, referring to Al Noor. “We didn’t want to just add outpatient numbers, we wanted to grow organically, and partnerships such as [with Chop] would help us do so.”
Paediatric oncology, neurology and autism could be some of the areas where Chop would collaborate with VPS.
The Abu Dhabi group would also set up a paediatric clinic but details were not available.
VPS is also building a hospital in Mussaffah that is expected to open in 18 months, one in Al Ain due to open in April and another in Al Ain next year. Its cancer care centre in Mohammed bin Zayed City is expected in 18 months.
The group currently runs 16 hospitals under the Burjeel, LLH, Lifecare and Medeor brands. It has 112 medical centres and 28 pharmacies.
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