For an institution that was supposed to be a dream shared by four friends graduating from the same medical college, Disha, “eastern India’s largest eyecare institute”, has come a long way.
A workshop on live phaco cataract surgery, to be conducted before 400 ophthalmologists from all over the country later this week, will be chaired by an expert from Israel’s Edith Wolfston Medical Center, Holon University, making it the first interactive session of this kind with international expertise.
The programme, to be inaugurated at Disha’s Barrackpore-based centre by state health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra, will also comprise a patient-education programme involving some of the best names in the business — Shankara Nethralaya chief S.S. Badrinath, Aravind Eye Care System executive director Namperumalsamy and Eye Research Foundation medical director Babu Rajendran.
The occasion, Disha chief Debasis Bhattacharya said, was the hospital’s expansion that would bring in a separate outpatients’ department.
“Already, a four-floored, 24,000-sq-ft affair, the hospital is getting a further 18,000 sq ft with the commissioning of the new six-floored structure.”
There is also the commissioning of a computerised spectacle-manufacturing unit that uses technology from the United Kingdom’s Norvelli and Germany’s Briot. The power-grinding units and edgers (essential units in this automated affair) make it possible for prescription-based lenses to be offered within a couple of hours.
“With some of our patients coming from the rural areas of this state and Bangladesh, we keep an eye on the affordability factor,” explained Bhattacharya, who, along with three fellow-graduates from Nilratan Sirkar Medical College and Hospital, got the project going in May 1997.
The plans for expansion and incorporation of modern technology fell into place, say Disha officials, with the weaning away of a few surgeons who were associated with top-notch institutes like Aravind Eye Hospital, Shankara Nethralaya and the Hyderabad-based L.V. Prasad Eye Institute. The regular sharing of expertise and knowledge with these institutes and experts from around the globe.