Within six months, cancer victims may well be able to undergo their chemotherapy sessions without having to go to the hospital. India Home Health Care, a company that has been providing nurses and medical care at home, will soon offer a larger range of medical services that may turn out to be path-breaking, “We are working towards offering services such as chemotherapy, dialysis and even ventilator support for people in their own homes,” said V Thiagarajan, who founded the company four years ago.
The reason why the home healthcare firm is expanding into unexplored territory is because American home health care major Bayada Home Health Care has acquired 26 per cent of IHHC’s stake and is entering the Indian market with them. “Bayada and other American home health services have all these services that are considered ‘hospital treatment’ here. This will make life much simpler for patients and we believe that it will actually be less expensive because there won’t be additional travel expenditure,” he added. The company’s 500-odd staff will be trained by professionals from the US and they will be setting up partnerships with equipment providers to arrange machines for these treatments.
Cancer, along with heart disease, has been the biggest health (and life) killers in India, with over 7 lakh people succumbing to the dreaded disease in 2012. According to the WHO’s global Cancer Report 2013, a whopping 10.2 lakh people were diagnosed with various forms of cancer through 2012 alone. Besides this global number, there are bound to be unreported and undiagnosed cancer victims whose records may not have been easily accessible.
“Most of these people need pain relief and chemotherapy, but leaving their homes and getting it can be difficult. This is where we come in,” he explained, adding that they had helped over 4,000 clients across Chennai and Bangalore since the company began. Most of them were elderly people whose children wanted their health monitored while they live abroad.
Home healthcare being a $50 billion industry in the USA, J Mark Baiada who founded Bayada 39 years ago, believes that India is a potentially huge market, “We’re talking about a country that has four times the number of people that America has. We see a huge potential here. Though insurance and spending capacity isn’t quite as high, we believe that there are lots of sick people we can help.”