Buoyed by growing awareness and demand for out-of-hospital recuperative care services, Bengaluru-based Sukino has chalked out an expansion plan that will deepen its presence in Karnataka and Kerala, besides expanding in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana markets.

“We will add another 150-200 beds in Bengaluru over a period of 18 months and move to new cities in Kerala such as Kottayam, Kozhikode and a few other cities of similar nature,” said Rajinish Menon, founder and CEO of Sukino Healthcare Solutions.

India’s first continuum care provider Sukino offers complete out-of-hospital recuperative, rehabilitative and palliative care to patients at any transitory stage of illness for speedy recovery.

The long-term healthcare provider focuses on patients with chronic ailments including post-stroke paralysis (hemiplegia), chronic kidney disease, total knee or hip replacement surgery, poorly-controlled diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cancer requiring pain management, palliative or end of life care.

Sukino currently has five centres in Bengaluru and one centre in Kochi with a combined capacity of 225 beds. “Over a period of 3-4 years, we would like to set up continuum care centres in Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Chennai and Hyderabad,” Menon added.

Diabetes must be checked

Operating models

Currently, it offers post-hospitalisation recuperative and rehabilitative care under two major models — managed care (where patients are monitored at home by following the same treatment plan of their primary physician) and continuum care at hospital-like facilities.

Continuum care centres are intermediate care facilities between the hospital and the home. These centres provide the medical and psychosocial environment for chronically ill patients to recover and rehabilitate.

A typical care centre of Sukino will have 50 beds with four doctors round-the-clock along with 15-18 ICU trained mid-level and senior level nurses, besides dedicated physiotherapists and healthcare counsellors.

The elderly in cities are extra-vulnerable

“In countries like the UK, the US and Singapore, it is mandatory for patients to move to a transitionary care centre where they are further stabilised, continuously monitored and given rehabilitation and then discharged with one week to one month of home care for complete recuperation,” Menon said.

While India is yet to catch up on this concept, Menon said the adoption rates for such services has been consistently going up ever since Sukino was formed in 2015 — thanks to the increasing number of well-travelled Indians. The pandemic and the resultant awareness for recuperative care has given a further fillip to this trend.

The huge cost of hospitalisation is also another reason pushing a lot of patients to take up continuum care services at these hospital-like facilities.

“Our continuum care package includes room rent, clinical care, physiotherapy, diet and a dedicated caretaker. At any point in time, our endeavour is to offer all these services at one-fourth or one-fifth of the price of the hospital. We have largely succeeded in keeping our prices low and that’s why there is a huge adoption,” Menon added.