Dr. Rampapa Rao's UCCHVAS fills gap in healthcare sector, provides post-discharge care

Rehabilitation are complimentary services provided by Dr Rampapa Rao's centre after hospital discharge

By KANIZA GARARI  Published on  21 Sep 2022 10:30 AM GMT
Dr. Rampapa Raos UCCHVAS fills gap in healthcare sector, provides post-discharge care

Hyderabad: Temporary disability due to chronic diseases like stroke, heart disease, injuries, accidents, and trauma require acute care and rehabilitation. These services cannot be availed in hospitals due to the high-costs. Most of these patients go home and solutions are derived at home for care.

For some, home care is not sufficient as they require a multi-therapist approach. To ensure that these patients get these therapies and get back to quality living, rehabilitation centers are important. This gap in the healthcare sector was observed by Dr. Rampapa Rao, a senior anesthetist and founder and managing director of UCCHVAS.

Why are rehabilitation services important in healthcare?

The incidence of strokes, heart diseases, chronic and uncontrolled diabetes, limb injuries and loss, musculoskeletal disorders, asthma, arthritis, and other respiratory infections are leading to temporary disability where normal human functions are disabled.

Dr. Rao says, "The emerging patterns of disease in India indicate that there are people who require acute and sub-acute care post discharge from the hospital. The estimated number is about 20 to 25 per cent who require rehabilitation or some form of therapy after discharge to lead a normal life. In my practice of 26 years, I realised that this was an emerging gap in the healthcare sector and it needs to be addressed. For this reason, in 2018 we started UCCHVAS which is a multi-therapist rehabilitation center at low-cost. The model was based on the experiences drawn from the United State of America, China, and Japan. These were merged together with our experiences in India. In the last four years, we have been able to get more insights and with that we opened another center in 2020 in Hyderabad."

A place to heal and recover

The center is designed to care for patients and provide physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapists, cognitive therapy, nutritionists, clinical psychologists, nursing and clinical care. The multi-therapy center has been designed as long stay in hospitals is costly and also leads to hospital-acquired infections.

Due to this reason, hospital discharges in acute patients are in five to seven days. For those who look for services for care, these centers are designed with equipment and skilled staff to ensure that their temporary disability is overcome and they can lead a normal life.

An emerging segment of healthcare

There are about 1,000 beds in Hyderabad city which cater to these services in both organised and unorganised sector. The services are now available only in major metro cities but there is a requirement in the rural areas too. Dr. Rao says, "With more awareness of these services, it will percolate into the rural areas. The demand in the rural belt is from disability due to occupational hazards like industry, farm, accidents, and others. This segment will also require points where these patients can avail of these facilities."

Cost of rehabilitation

Penetration of insurance companies to reimburse the rehabilitation costs are yet to start in India. The concept is only emerging and to avail of its full benefits will require sensitization at various levels in both private and government sectors to bear the cost. There is a need for the government to closely look into this aspect of post-hospitalisation care cost at a rehabilitation center or with home care to ensure that people can afford and manage it. Rehabilitation and home care go hand-in-hand and they will complement each other in the long run for hospital discharged care. With post-Covid patients opting for both rehabilitation and home care services in acute cases, it is clear that there is an emerging need which must be addressed with the right skilled professionals who can deliver their best.

Dr. Rao says, "It is only the beginning in India, and in Hyderabad, before we came, there were only two players. Now there are about 10 organised entities but there is a need for many more."

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