Sankara Netralaya opens satellite out-patient centre

CHENNAI, SEP. 2. Sankara Netralaya, the premier eye care institution in the country, will set up more satellite out- patient centres with spot appointments.

The first such centre was opened recently on Marshalls Road which functions throughout the week. Speaking to reporters here today, Dr. T. S. Surendran, Medical Director, Sankara Netralaya, said patients who visited the main complex of the hospital on College Road without prior appointment would be taken to the satellite centre in a vehicle.

This centre would screen the patients and those who needed surgery or other specialised treatment would be referred either to the main complex or to the annex on Pycrofts Garden Road. The new centre was created mainly to cater to the needs of Chennai- based patients.

Sankara Netralaya, which was 22 years old, was a bold experiment in the health care delivery system in India. It was the first eye institute to be given ISO 9002. Both the poor and paying patients, the former constituting 38 per cent and the latter 62 per cent, received the same quality treatment.

Dr. Surendran said there were plans for a telemedicine initiative within Tamil Nadu initially and then extend it to the rest of the country. But the project depended on availability of funds.

The hospital catered to all the 12 sub-specialities in eye care and it aimed at conducting 12,000 free vision-saving operations every year for the poor at its community centre, `Jagadguru Kanchi Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Nethra Nilayam'.

Dr. K. Ravishankar, Assistant Medical Director, highlighted the activities of the hospital in serving the community.

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