What is Medical Rehabilitation?
According to the WHO, rehabilitation helps a child, adult or older person to be as independent as possible in everyday activities and enables participation in education, work, recreation and meaningful life roles such as taking care of family. Medical rehabilitation is a medical subspecialty aimed at improving the functional abilities to the maximum possible and quality of life of individuals affected by conditions that result in some disability. Examples of such conditions include musculoskeletal disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, spinal injuries/diseases, head injury, amputations, post orthopaedic surgery etc. This process involves a multi-disciplinary team consisting of specialists in different medical fields, medical officers, professionals supplementary to medicine (physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, speech therapists etc.), and social service officers. Although this process needs to start at the acute care setting itself, it can be carried out as an inpatient in a hospital, as an outpatient or at home/ in a community setting.
Medical rehabilitation services in Sri Lanka
The outpatient rehabilitation services are available in hospitals that have Rheumatology & Medical rehabilitation units. These include all Teaching, Provincial and General hospitals, and some base hospitals in the country.
Specialised inpatient rehabilitation care is available at the following institutions.
– Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Hospital – Ragama
– Digana Rehabilitation Hospital – Kandy
– Maliban Rehabilitation Unit – Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, Galle
– Jayanthipura Rehabilitation Hospital – Polonnaruwa
– Kandagolle Rehabilitation hospital – Badulla