- The at-home service saves the woman, who has been grappling with cancer for the last 14 years, from hassles of travelling to hospital, bringing convenience and cost-effective procedure to her doorstep
Faridabad, June 25, 2014: Cancer, the name itself sends shivers down the spine. For some, just getting diagnosed with the disease means end of life. The fear is such.
Fighting the ‘Cancer Battle’ is painful and, equally dreadful. Putting up a brave face all through requires a strong willpower and steely determination. Staying upbeat even when the disease is pulling a cancer patient down is not something everybody can do.
Exceptions though are always there. Ms Usha Rani belongs to that club of very few, battling cancer for the last 14 years. First diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, the disease has spread to her whole body over the years.
No matter how strong a person is such a long fight starts taking a toll on the mental health, let alone the physical strength. She hasn’t given up, but age is not on her side now. At 53, she has grown tired fighting the battle.
“In so many years, I had been going for chemotherapy all alone as my husband has been working outside Delhi. I have a daughter who was small when I was diagnosed with cancer for the first time. Whenever I used to go to hospital for a chemotherapy session, others used to come with one or two family members. I never wanted to trouble my husband and disturb his employment.
“Even when my daughter grew up, I have been going for chemotherapy all by myself. But now I am ageing. My daughter is married now and my husband still lives out of Delhi owing to his job responsibility. I started having trouble off late in going to hospital for chemotherapy. It is when I got to know about HealthCare at Home from a fellow patient who told me I can get chemotherapy done at home by HCAH,” she says, with a sparkle in her eyes.
Life, Ms Rani says, has become a lot easier after subscribing to HCAH’s Chemotherapy services. “I had never thought in my wildest dreams that such a facility would be available at home. Now, I do not have to travel to hospital and the services are cost-effective and as good as any hospital’s. HCAH has given me a new lease of life and filled me with renewed energy to keep the fight going.”
Like Rani, HCAH’s chemotherapy service has found many takers. Given the kind of convenience and comfort it offers, the at-home chemotherapy facility of HCAH has grown manifold since the company started operations in Delhi-NCR last year.
“HCAH provides cohesive and customized cancer treatment in the comfortable confines of one’s home. HCAH nurses are adept at administering adjuvant drugs. They are experts at symptomatic management and pain relief management. The nurses are made to undergo specialized training in palliative care, particularly to provide counseling and support to the patients that help boost their morale, resulting into their quicker recovery. Healthcare at Home, UK, is pioneering home chemotherapy treatments and has been successfully delivering the service in Australia, Germany, Switzerland and Ireland for the last 20 years. The concept is very new in India and we are trying to replicate the same model here,” says Vivek Srivastava, Chief Executive Officer, HCAH.
The service offered by HCAH include Chemotherapy, Adjuvant therapy administration, PICC line dressing, Chemo port flush, Electrolyte infusion/antibiotic infusion, Neutropenic care, Parental nutrition/blood transfusion, pain and symptom management, Palliative and End-of-life care, Nutrition counseling, Psychological counseling and Family counseling. All the cancer treatments delivered by HCAH are led by the treating oncologists’ prescriptions, and the healthcare professionals keep them updated about their conditions on an ongoing basis.
“Distance and availability of good oncology infrastructure is a very big issue in India. Travelling great distances is troublesome for cancer patients. We become the extended reach, compensating for the limited premier oncology institutes. In Delhi and Chandigarh, HCAH provides treatments prescribed by doctors sitting even as good in Mumbai. By treating patients at home, we create capacities for doctors and hospitals alike. We offer cancer facilities also at places where no oncology services are available,” says Dr Gaurav Thukral, Head Medical Services, HCAH.
The personalized care offered through homecare addresses the unique needs of every patient. Longer stay at hospitals lead to huge medical bills, thereby putting enormous pressure on family members. Compared to hospital stay, home care is cost effective as it cuts the indirect expenditures.
When such a facility is not available, the work-life balance of the family members goes for a toss. But with facility like HCAH family members can resume a normal schedule, leaving their dear ones in trusted hands.
It also helps the treating doctors of the patients to constantly monitor their patients’ condition. By keeping the doctors concerned always in the loop, HCAH ensures constant medical intervention and supervision to the patient without any interruption. Additionally, services provided by HCAH also free up doctors, making them available for other patients. The availability of home care creates capacities in tertiary hospitals as well.
About HealthCare at Home India
HealthCare at Home (HCAH) is a joint venture between the Burman family, promoters of India’s leading natural health care products maker Dabur, and Dr Gareth Jones and Charles Walsh, the founders of the UK-based Healthcare At Home (HAH).
They joined hands to introduce the concept of managed at-home specialized healthcare services in India and the company started operations in the country in April 2013.
The Delhi-based company works with corporate hospitals and doctors to offer critical healthcare services in oncology (cancer care), pulmonology (lung care), post-operative care (orthopedics, cardiac, bariatric — weight loss surgery — etc), critical care and palliative care. Understanding the need for special care for older lot in the country, the company also offers specialized elderly care and medical companionship programme for them.
Setting up of ICU at home and providing medical facilities like chemotherapy in the confines of one’s house, which were so far unimaginable, set HCAH apart.
The company works alongside the patients’ doctors to offer high-end, clinically credible treatment to patients in the comfortable confines of their homes. The company ensures that the treating doctors are always kept in loop and that the treatment is led by their prescriptions only.
The company offers its services in Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh, from where it serves the Chandigarh tri-city and Jaipur. The company plans to go pan-India in the next 2 years.