A noteworthy article by Scott Allen in the Boston Globe today points to a trend:
Harvard Medical School is breaking ground today for the Harvard Medical School Dubai Center that will help train medical staff, direct research, and provide quality control for a 435-acre medical campus "healthcare city" in the United Arab Emirates. This is the school's biggest international project ever and the first bricks-and-mortar project abroad since a Shanghai campus closed in 1915.
Joslin Diabetes Center of Boston just opened a treatment center in Bahrain, which has one of the world's highest diabetes rates.
Cornell University has launched a medical school in Doha, Qatar.
Cleveland Clinic will help run a hospital under construction in Saudi Arabia.
Outside of the Persian Gulf, Columbia University offers a medical degree through Ben-Gurion University in Israel and the Cleveland Clinic partly owns a hospital in Cairo.
The trend is a direct result of the war on terror. As Allen puts it, "People from the Middle East, who account for up to half of international patients in US hospitals, face more background scrutiny and visa delays since the 2001 terror attacks, increasing their desire for better health care at home." And there's big bucks involved; Dubai Healthcare City estimates that the 100 million Persian Gulf residents spend $25 billion a year getting treatment elsewhere. The building boom looks like a good solution for all involved. (May 31, 2004)