Rehabilitation: A Road to Recovery

Dr. Eric Basuil, chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of the Cardinal Santos Medical Center (Photo by Ramir G. Cambiado)

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H&L interviews Dr. Eric Basuil, chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of the Cardinal Santos Medical Center, on the importance of rehabilitation for patients recovering from stroke or other serious debilitating illnesses, as well as the medical institutions world class facilities to enhance the patient’s road to functional recovery

By Gelyka Ruth R. Dumaraos


Rehabilitation can be considered a life-changing treatment towards a patient’s recovery. From being almost completely incapable of doing basic communication and movements, this treatment can enhance a person’s functional recovery and help him return to his regular routine.

Patients who have health conditions with limited functioning can benefit from rehabilitation. The patients commonly referred for rehabilitation care are those with limitations in self-care and impaired mobility, coordination, and balance as well as those with problems in speech and communication. These physical handicaps usually result from conditions such as stroke, hip fractures, amputations, severe arthritis, multiple trauma and neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s diseases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers rehabilitation as a beneficial intervention to help a patient return to its highest functional level and to go back to his regular routine.

While the need for rehabilitation continues to grow worldwide, especially in low- and middle-income countries, it is notable that the Philippines is not far behind when it comes to having centers which give globally-competitive services for rehabilitation patients.

Considered as one of the premiere rehabilitation centers in the Philippines, Cardinal Santos Medical Center’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine boasts of world-class therapeutic and diagnostic services catering to patients who are in need of help when it comes to returning to their utmost functional level.

According to Dr. Eric Basuil, chairman of the medical center’s Rehabilitation Medicine Department, the main mission of the Center is to provide the most extensive assessment and treatment for a wide variety of patients with physical, occupational, and or speech impairment and or disabilities. The Center also aims to provide the best medical and function evaluation of referred patients and the prescription and application of the appropriate therapy program.

Aside from these, CSMC’s rehab center strives to give the best special diagnostic procedures for various neuromuscular conditions including electro diagnosis (EMG-NCV) and functional capacity evaluation for injured workers.

It also aims to give assistance to the handicapped individuals in attaining their maximum potential physically, psychologically, emotionally, socially and vocationally.

“What we do is to get them to the highest functional level,” says Dr. Basuil. “Our goal in rehab is to give medicines to treat the pain, and to rehabilitate them to enable a return to work.”

Currently, the medical department is stuffed by the country’s leading psychiatrists. The doctors work with allied professionals including physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists, which guarantees a highly specialized and modified services needed by a patient.

“It is important to know the cause of impairment to be able to treat the patient,” Dr. Basuil explains. “What we do is look for the cause and treat it. What makes our rehabilitation center different is that we see the patient as a whole. Here in Cardinal Santos, we have an individualized, holistic program (for every patient referred to us).”

Debunking the misconception that rehabilitation patients are directly turned to therapists, CSMC’s Rehabilitation Center consists of medical experts who thoroughly assess the patients first before turning them over to their corresponding therapists.

At CSMC, patients for rehabilitation are presented with a comprehensive rehabilitation services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.

It also specializes in the treatment of neurological cases (such as stroke and brain and spinal cord injuries) and musculoskeletal cases (such as neck and low back pains, sprains/strains, tendonitis, and arthritis).

True to its objective of maintaining high international standards, it prides itself with its fully-equipped state-of-the-art technology featuring the In-Motion Robotic therapy, a first of its kind not only in the Philippines but the whole of Asia. Dr. Basuil explains that the treatment benefit patients who have neurological problems such as stroke and brain and spinal cord injuries.

Aside from the traditional machine used for rehabilitation services, the department also has the Biodex Deweighing System, Balance Master, and Nintendo Wii-assisted programs.

Photo by Ramir G. Cambiado

Post-operative patients who have undergone procedures such as back surgeries, hip or knee replacements, or brain surgeries are provided with a comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation program.

Another highlight in the CSMC Rehabilitation Center that it is proud of is Electrodiagnostic testing (EMG-NCV); a test for peripheral nerve and muscle which helps the doctor determine and prognosticate when problems such as weakness, numbness and neck or low back pains arise. “This is conducted by our team of competent electromyographers and the results are available within 15 minutes after the test,” says Dr. Basuil.

For Dr. Basuil, CSMC’s Rehabilitation Center gives the best patient care with its highly skilled physiatrists and therapists who cannot only provide treatment but offer utmost support and care that a patient needs for his or her full recovery.

CSMC also believes that the care it passes on should not just be confined to the four corners of the center. He stresses though that rehabilitation does not end in the center. In fact, part of rehabilitations is teaching the patient, as well as their family members, to know basic rehabilitation techniques even at home, making it a family affair.

Oct 2018 Health and Lifestyle

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