By Michael Kanaabi Dollar
Ugandan based medical start up Teamwork Homecare services is making sizeable inroads in the home based medical care services segment. Thanks to it’s unique approach that has been lacking in most companies trying to position themselves in the home based medical care services segment.
By ensuring they are putting the needs of patients above self and adhering to professional medical standards they are reshaping this emerging sector.
What are they doing differently?
Founded by Julius Habumugisha a medical professional himself, this company that has been operating officially since it’s incorporation in April 2021.
“While many of the home based care service providers in Uganda are focusing on providing home care nurses or nannies with basic to no medical training at all, at Teamwork Homecare we are going all out to ensure we are providing patients with real trained medical professionals, therapists, nurses and even specialist visits when necessary” Julius Habumugisha the Teamwork Homecare services CEO says.
For example palliative and Elderly care is very sensitive and best handled by well trained professionals to ensure the patient gets the best quality care and we have put together a well trained team to offer this service, he adds.
And the need for palliative care is not a small one as the incidences of lifestyle or non communicable diseases have been on the rise recently in many cases these later turn into terminal illnesses that require proper end of life care for patients.
Statistics from the Palliative Care Association of Uganda show that every year about 500,000 Ugandans do need palliative care but of these only about 55000 people which represents about 11% of the total need are the ones getting the care.
And this is an area Teamwork Homecare is equipping itself better as a home based medical care service provider to provide the best possible service to those in need of it.
Enter Elderly care
Related to Palliative Care, Teamwork Homecare services also offers specialist services when it comes to taking care of our Elderly whether ill or healthy.
“Many of our elderly parents and grand parents actually never get the quality of care they deserve because we have hardly had trained people over the years to give this type of care and we at Teamwork Homecare services have taken a step to solve this problem too. Not only do we provide 24 hours of home based care like would an ordinary nanny, we top this up with nutritional expertise from our medical and dietary background plus nursing services given our elderly people often need some medical related assistance every so often even when it is not major” Habumugisha says.
Background of Teamwork Homecare services
Already working in the medical field, for Julius Habumugisha the COVID-19 pandemic came as a blessing in disguise. As hospital admission numbers ballooned out of control and patients started to be sent home to get recovery care from there more often, Habumugisha saw an opportunity as the need for oxygen cylinders installed in people’s homes and home care nurses to take care of them grew.
He started by supplying oxygen cylinders informally to those who needed them then doing placements for nurses before he took it all formal in April 2021 when he incorporated Teamwork Homecare services Limited.
How do you reach them?
The first step is a patient or some one on behalf of the one who needs the care reaching out to us through our phone contacts that are available 24 hours, physically at our offices in Naalya estates Golden Apartments or through our website www.teamworkhomecare.com.
One then books an appointment, a member of our team comes to your location, a complete assessment ( full body check up) of the patient or elderly person is done and then a treatment plan or way forward is laid out by a Doctor.
Using the medical report, a treatment or management plan of the patient is worked out whether it involves a physio, a Counselor, nutritionist, bed side nurse, specialist visits, elderly care etc, a contract is then signed with Teamwork Homecare laying out the plan and financial implications, a deposit is made and the team commences managing the patient.
What else does Teamwork Homecare offer?
The needs of home based care patients are quite diverse and to try and meet them effectively over time, Teamwork Homecare has been reaching out to various professionals to join them as service providers and consultants since it’s inception.
As a result, currently the company has added 4 Physicians and one Resident Specialist to the team to help them attend to patients better. Among these are a Paediatrician, a Kidney Specialist, Gynaecologist, Neuro surgeon, Cardiologist and neurologist to mention but a few.
Teamwork Homecare’s number of nurses on their books has also grown significantly over time to 50 in total even though most of them are temporary.
Same is the case with the Doctors who Habumugisha says now total to 12 plus 15 Specialists working with them on a part time basis.
Access to good health services among the low income earners in our communities is still a challenge Habumugisha observes. As a result, Teamwork Homecare has done outreaches often on monthly basis and given free treatment in places like Ntinda, Kyambogo and others.
However in these outreaches they have also discovered that many people have challenges accessing medicines due to prohibitive costs and therefore need more partners to help them reach more people .
With the right skills on board with in Teamwork Homecare’s ranks, Habumugisha the company’s Founder is confident they can meet the specific medical needs and challenges of diverse patients.
Habumugisha says “they can effectively handle most cases including emergencies that may happen at home or in workplaces and require on site first aid treatment before referral to an established hospital.”
What the future holds for Teamwork Homecare ?
An application to integrate all their services and make them just a single click away is in the works, all aimed at simplifying and increasing access for patients.
They are also developing an advanced feature on Teamwork Homecare’s website where one’s medical records will be stored and accessed by them remotely when need arises.
Plans are under way to set up remote branches of Teamwork Homecare services in rural areas too.
In conclusion Habumugisha says they have handled over 400 cases since commencing operations and are looking forward to treating many more through their home based medical care model.