First Specialized Rehabilitation Clinic Opens

First Specialized Rehabilitation Clinic Opens First Specialized Rehabilitation Clinic Opens

The country’s first specialized clinic in rehabilitation services set up by the University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences (USWRC) was inaugurated last week in Tehran on the occasion of the Ten-Day Dawn Festivities marking the 37th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“With higher life expectancy along with a graying population there is greater need for specific medical and rehabilitative care of this segment,” said Seyed Mohammad Hadi Ayyazi, deputy health minister for social affairs, NGOs and health charities, at the ceremony.

Lamenting that healthcare infrastructure had not developed at a pace it should have under the previous governments, he stressed that the incumbent administration “is facing a grave task necessitating private sector participation in the healthcare system.”

“No insurance tariff system has been introduced for rehabilitation services so far, but will be addressed with the establishment of the new clinic,” Ayyazi noted.

University Chancellor Dr. Hamidreza Khorram, said prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services are provided under medical care, but regretted that a large number of people do not realize the importance of rehabilitation services on  physical and psychological wellbeing.

In his autobiography “A World to Care For”, the father of rehabilitation, Dr. Howard Rusk wrote, “Once a person overcomes a disability through his own courage, determination and hard work, he has a depth of spirit you and I know little about; this is a branch of medicine in which the patient has more power than the doctor in setting the limits and possibilities.”

The process of rehabilitation often focuses on physical therapy to help in recovery after a serious injury, illness or surgery. It may need a patient to regain strength, mobility and fitness by relearning skills or find new ways of doing things they did before. The goal of rehabilitation is to help people learn how to care for the body that may now work differently, and maintain good health to avoid secondary complications, so as to reintegrate into the community.

 Lack of Support

Khorram underlined that one of the major problems is lack of support from insurance companies. In addition, insurance tariffs for such patients are nonspecific. For instance, quadriplegics (with high severity) and patients with knee arthritis (lower severity) are charged the same tariffs.

The clinic will help in providing easy access to such services for patients, and create a platform for the university’s specialists and professors to conduct private practice in the afternoons at official visiting rates.

“The difference between private and official fees will be covered by the Health Ministry,” Ayyazi noted.

The hallmark of a functioning rehabilitation team is the expertise, experience and commitment of the therapists.

With 21 specialized groups and 8 research centers, the USWRC under the auspices of the Health Ministry trains over 1,700 individuals annually in the fields of social welfare, social health, psychological welfare and rehabilitation, rehabilitation nursing, social work, family counseling, gerontology, nurturing pre-school children, psychiatry and psychology.

The clinic is located in Tehran’s western Jannat Abad neighborhood. Built on an area of 1,800 square meters in three floors, it will provide services such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, physiotherapy, optometry, audiometry, rehabilitation nursing, social work, counseling, psychology, clinical psychology, as well as general medicine and dentistry.

The building also includes a laboratory, radiology lab, and pharmacy, which will become operational over the coming months.