Promote indigenous innovations, doctors urged

There is a backlog of cataract surgeries in India not merely because patients could not pay for treatment, but because they could not afford the travel expenses to make it to treating centres. Such a scenario called for practitioners to ‘step out of their comfort zone and help poor patients’, said G.Bakthavathsalam, chairman, K.G.Group, Coimbatore, at the inauguration of the diamond jubilee annual conference of Tamil Nadu Ophthalmic Association (TNOA).

“Ophthalmologists should be 50 per cent doctors and 50 per cent managers”, the chief guest said noting that both skills were mandatory to ensure services offered by hospitals reached the public. In a speech peppered with personal anecdotes and a generous dose of humour, he struck a serious note, when he exhorted doctors to swear by the traits of ability and availability. Moreover a blend of a beautiful mind and skilful hand were essential.

Exposing students in schools and colleges to the plight of the visually challenged before encouraging eye donation will have a greater impact, suggested Kalyani Mathivanan, vice-chancellor, Madurai Kamaraj University, inaugurating the conference. Corporates can come forward to create a corpus for eye transplants, she proposed.

Support indigenous innovation

A successful ophthalmologist is one who earns the name of family ophthalmologist, said M.Radhakrishnan, taking over as president of TNOA, indicating importance to clarify simple doubts of patients. Increasing medico-legal cases can be attributed not to negligence but to improper explanation.

Stating there was ‘tremendous explosion of knowledge’ in the field of ophthalmology, P.Namperumalsamy, chairman emeritus, Aravind Eye Hospital, asked doctors to support the innovations and equipments introduced by indigenous industries.

Majority of the causes of blindness in India are preventable and Indian Medical Association and the AIOS must join the fight against curable blindness, said M.S.Ashraf, president, Tamil Nadu Medical Council, releasing the souvenir of the conference. Sathia Albert, chairman, organising committee and Devaki Senthil Kumar, organising secretary, spoke.

Quresh Maskati, vice president, All India Ophthalmic Society, said it was necessary to double the number of doctors enrolled in the society to be reckoned as a force by the government.

The first Salem Ophthalmic Association and Sankara Nethralaya Alumni S.S.Badrinath medal of honour was awarded to city doctor M.R.S.Ramakrishnan by Dr.Badrinath, the founder of Sankara Nethralaya. V.M.Sankaran and T.S.Chandrasekaran were bestowed the lifetime achievement awards. M.Rajamohan was presented the Dr.Joseph Gnanadickam gold medal oration award and M.Muthayya was awarded the Dr.G.Venkatasamy Community Opthalmology Oration Award. The conference is underway till August 12 at Hotel Sangam.