More and more patients preferring home care: Docs

Home healthcare, which refers to medical services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury, has seen tremendous growth over the last few months in the City, with neurological and pulmonology assistance being the most sought-after, doctors say.

It is a combination of factors that has led to the industry picking up a fast pace, according to Dr Ferzaan Engineer, senior member at Nightingales Home Healthcare. “Changing demographics, people moving from one city to another for jobs and increasing number of nuclear families have spurred the need for home care,” the doctor told Deccan Herald.

While cost factor is one of the primary reasons for patients prefering home care over long hospital stays, Dr Engineer clarified that home healthcare was only a supplement to hospital treatment. “Technological advancements have made it easier to get a hospital-like setting at home. Rehabilitation is also an important part of treatment and home care can contribute considerably to this,” he added.

He continued, “If someone has undergone a knee replacement, recovery takes a long time. Hospital stay might not be affordable to all. In such cases, if assistance could be offered at home, it not only cuts down the cost but also saves a lot of family time.”

In recent months, the sector has become more organised with companies taking a professional approach. “There is a lot of certainity around it. That is why people are more confident these days,” said Lalit Pai, Founder, Medwell Ventures Private Limited.
Recovery after a stroke, dementia, wound care (especially for those with diabetes) and pulmonology (those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder) are the most sought-after home care services, according to Pai.

Even laboratory tests are available on the doorstep. “All that one has to do is send an SMS. The lab technician will come to their doorstep and collect the necessary samples. They will also get reports by e-mail and SMS. This shows how advanced healthcare has become,” said Ravi Kumar, Managing Director, R V Metropolis, a chain of diagnostic centres.

Insurance companies also are pushing for home care to cut down on reimbursements, according to specialists.

‘Familiar environment’

Dr Devananda N S, Head of Department, Cardiology, Manipal Hospitals, said “As there is economic progress, quality of living matters. Home care would address this issue. At home, the patient has a familiar environment. Even psychologically, it would help in faster recovery.”

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