Sunday, 09 October 2016 12:03

Bringing it home

Director Dr. Rialas and Dr. Alexandrou Director Dr. Rialas and Dr. Alexandrou

Coordinating doctors’ visits, therapies, hospital stays and follow-up care can be challenging and often involves the whole family, especially if long-term care is required.

Home Med Care (HMC), a new health care provider in Limassol, is taking an innovative approach at making things easier for all involved.

They provide a network of health care professionals who go to patients’ homes, thus facilitating the logistical aspect. ‘We come to you’ is their philosophy.

Under the helm of Dr. Christos M. Rialas, well-versed in the field of health care management as a former medical coordinator, health care and education consultant in Cyprus and abroad, the services look to bring more structure and comfort to health care at home.

“We find that homecare often lacks coordination,” explains Dr. Rialas. “Nurses come to homes, doctors come when called, but have no idea what the nurse has been doing, follow-up care is often haphazard.”

A network of specialists

Home Med Care began operation this past January and provides doctor-based rather than nurse-based care for treating patients at home.

If long-term treatment or therapy is needed, doctors are kept informed of a patient’s state of health and progress – an especially important factor in the case of orthopaedic surgery, according to the CEO.

The team consists of a core team of permanent doctors and nurses, and a pool of doctors they collaborate with as needed.

“Doctors in general are happy about our services,” explains Dr. Rialas “as they often receive phone calls from patients struggling with the coordination of follow-up care. We are here to assist with this aspect.”

As one parent who has recently started using Home Med Care, told the Cyprus Weekly, the physical and psychological stress of having their young child in and out of hospital for various infusions and check-ups was putting immense strain on the family’s relationship and finances.

Having their daughter stay at home has led to a simpler daily schedule and much more comfort for their child.

According to Dr. Rialas, this is an effect that is also being reported by families who have ailing parents at home.

Having to regularly drive elderly parents to and from clinics, therapists and doctors’ offices is a logistical headache for many busy families.

Dr. Maria Alexandrou, Chief Medical Officer at HMC, says she feels fortunate to be part of this innovative project.  “Our patients’ relatives are so excited with the services we provide,” she says.

“It feels great to help a patient and a whole family at the same time.”

Keeping things affordable

According to the director, treatments and services like injections, tests and therapies have standard prices with the only difference that they are provided at the patient’s home.

The overheads of a clinic do not apply, thus allowing for more flexibility in pricing.

For long-term care, packages are available and HMC collaborates with an agency that can provide housekeepers who will be given some basic training and supervised.

Home Med Care’s doctors drive hospital-grade cars, and ambulance transport and transport via wheelchair-accessible cars, whose drivers will actually wait for the patient to be taken back home, are also available.

Insurance agencies

While some insurance companies already cover their services, Home Med Care is currently negotiating with the island’s main providers on including their services in separate policies.

For now, services are available in Limassol but expansion to Nicosia is in the works.

It seems word-of-mouth publicity has been doing its job as, according to Dr. Rialas, they are getting increasingly busy and are excited about all the positive feedback.

Offering some coordination and structure certainly seems a (healthy) step in the right direction.

HMC’s number is 77-771221 and it’s manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by nurses experienced in intensive and emergency care. More information can be found at www.homemedcare.eu

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of September 23rd 2016 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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