Rehabilitation in India has long been just a support function in hospitals. However, it is now emerging as an essential component of healthcare’s continuum of services.
Medical rehabilitation provides restorative services to people who acquire functional inability due to various ailments like Neurological, Orthopedic, Cardiac, Diabetic, Oncology, Pulmonary, Pain, disability etc. to pace recovery to an active and productive lifestyle.
At present, the total rehabilitation market is estimated to be approximately USD 1500 million, and is expected to double to USD 3000 million by 2017.
Rehabilitation services are provided in a variety of settings, including acute hospital-based rehabilitation units, freestanding rehabilitation hospitals and increasingly, alternative settings such as sub acute care units, outpatient rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities and at home.
The growth of these in India is going to be outside the traditional hospital set-up. With convenience being the key, they are likely to be established closer to the end consumer.
Key drivers for rehab services would be change in disease profile necessitating more surgical interventions, an ageing population, desire for an active lifestyle, technological advances enabling quicker recovery etc.