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A Hospital That Offers Free After-Care

Posted May. 07, 2007 03:16,   


A hospital is making headlines for offering its patients after-service care free of charge.

Himchan Hospital, which has hospitals in Incheon and Seoul, started offering physiotherapy treatments to those who underwent knee or back operations. It is also dispatching nurses to help former patients who have trouble taking medicine. The hospital has extended these services to ten thousand households so far.

Doctors and nurses visit patients with chronic diseases like bone and muscle disabilities, brain ailments, dementia, and paralysis upon request. Nurses’ long-term commitments are limited only to patients who received an operation at Himchan Hospital.

Other hospitals visit patients to treat them as well, but most charge patients and the medical costs often limit the availability of the service. A typical visit costs 21,300 won, and patients usually pay about 20 percent of this amount.

“The operation itself takes up only 80 percent of bone joint operations. Physiotherapy takes up the other 20 percent,” said Lee Soo-chan, the director of Himchan Hospital. “If we make visits and explain conditions to the patients, they will feel more relieved and reconsider the importance of physiotherapy. This leads to better operation results for our patients.”

“It is quite hard for older patients to do physiotherapy on their own, no matter how hard we work to educate them before they leave the hospital,” added Director Lee.

For the elderly living on their own, it is very difficult for them to take their medicine on time even if the time and intake method are written in detail on the medicine container. Patients should have a hot massage before exercising and a cold massage after, but some patients do it the other way around.

Four automobiles with their own drivers are available to transport head nurses and specialized nurses to visit patients all over the country including Jeju Island. The cars go out about 10 times a day.

“Patients are often uneasy about operation side-effects and how they should handle themselves when they go home after an operation,” said Nurse Ryu Mi-sook. “It is not easy riding a car all day, but it is all worth it when patients show their relief and appreciation for what we do.”