Thursday, April 15

Facility in New Town a shot in the arm for Kolkata eye care sector

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Eye treatment in Kolkata got a fillip with the inauguration of Disha Mahanagar — an 80,000sqft facility across 10 floors that can serve 1,000 patients and conduct 100 surgeries a day — at New Town on Sunday.

The biggest dedicated eye care facility in the eastern region, the hospital will help to take ophthalmology to the next level and augment the city’s capacity to cater to eye patients, a substantial number of whom still travel to southern states for eye surgeries, felt experts. Disha, which has 15 centres across Kolkata, adds to the list of multi-unit facilities like Sankara Nethralaya and Sushrut Eye Foundation apart from single-unit facilities like Priyamvada Birla Aravind Eye Hospital, Rotary Narayana Eye Hospital and Alokon.

New facilities that have come up in the city have helped to stem the flow of eye patients to other states, said Disha Eye Hospitals chairman and managing director Debasish Bhattacharya. “Since the late-1990s, several hospital chains have been set up that offer the best facilities. Kolkata eye hospitals are cheaper as well, which make them a better option than travelling to the south. It has helped to curb the number of patients travelling to south India,” said Bhattacharya. The first Disha unit at Barrackpore was stared in 1997.

Disha Mahanagar offers the latest in terms of technology, including laminar flow operation theatres and laser surgery. It has six operation theatres and 50 beds. “We already have 200 patients booked for the first day on Monday and we will conduct 30 surgeries. We will expand the facilities gradually and cater to at least 1,000 patients a day and do a hundred operations,” added Bhattacharya. Disha has 30,000sqft space in reserve for expansion. Across its other 15 units, it caters to 12 lakh patients a year and does 500 operations annually.

Others like Susrut Eye Foundation & Research Centre — set up in 1998 by eminent eye surgeon Sunil Bagchi and Ratish Chandra Paul — are not too far behind either. It offers several branches of specialized eyecare, including orbit and oculoplasty, retina, eye bank, cornea and refractive, glaucoma, contact lenses, laser correction, pediatric pphthalmology, Uvea, neuro-ophthalmology, squint and LASIK retina.

Susrut organizes free eye checkup camp for adults across urban and rural areas to identify cataract or other problems related to the eye.

With a reputation of being arguably the best eyecare facility in the country, Sankara Nethralaya launched its first centre in the city in 2002. Its first independent facility came up five years later while the first major centre was established at Mukundapur in 2009. The latter serves more than 3,000 patients a month across its 10 specialities. The hospital conducts 250-360 surgeries every month.

Set up in 2004, Rotary Narayana Eye Hospital offers solutions for eye care and has been among the established names in Kolkata. It has conducted more than 7,000 critical eye surgeries. It has three centres in Kolkata and three in the districts.

Among the major eyecare service providers is Priyamvada Birla Aravind Eye Hospital established in 2005. It has come up on the premises of one of the city’s most prominent private hospitals — Belle Vue Clinic. With 46 beds and a team of 14 opthalmologists from various streams, the hospital serves around 280 patients a day.

 

Source: Times of India

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