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June 2013 Report - Number of patients increasing meaning increased costs
Numbers have been increasing in Acheru since completion of the hostel, with more inpatient beds. Almost all inpatients are surgical (orthopaedic or plastic) meaning we refer them to CoRSU for operations. As soon as possible after surgery they are taken back to Acheru for post operative treatment and rehabilitation: this can take weeks, months, or in some cases years.
Increased numbers mean increased costs. I’m concerned about this but a more positive way of looking at it is that it’s only costing more because so many children are being treated. CoRSU provides surgery at no cost to us, but we have to pay all other associated costs – transport, subsistence in hospital, X rays, consultations, reviews, medication etc. Over the last few months we’ve seen a big increase in our CoRSU bills as we’re now averaging five operations every week.
We’re not a hospital or a health centre, we are primarily a rehabilitation unit. We’ve to adopt a flexible interpretation of the term ‘disability’, and also deal with injuries and their after effects – anything which ‘disables’ the child. We complement the service provided by hospitals and have a number of patients with very serious injuries following, for example, road accidents. These would normally be dealt with in hospitals, but a hospital needs to treat them and get them out, which for some of our patients would have meant amputations. Because we’re a rehabilitation unit we can take a long view, and that often enables us to save limbs and see remarkable recoveries. Some of our patients must have endured terrible suffering and it’s a joy to see them restored to health.
We’re continuing to monitor work in the north, and I hope to tell you more about that in the next update.
Brian Dorman

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