Continuing with the Nethralaya philosophy of community service, Sankara Nethralaya, Rameswaram began offering free services to indigent patients from December 1, 2009.
Rededicating the services, at a function on December 7, 2009 at Rameswaram, Mr. TN Hariharan, District Collector, Ramanathapuram, assured all help to Sankara Nethralaya in creating more awareness about ophthalmic care in Rameswaram and surrounding areas.
Welcoming Sankara Nethralaya’s initiative in providing free services at its Rameswaram branch, Ms. Girija Vaidyanathan, Mission Director, National Rural Health Mission, urged for such quality and affordable ophthalmic services to be spread across
Sankara Nethralaya Chairman Mr. V Vaidyanathan briefed the gathering on Sankara Nethralaya and the various activities undertaken by the institute. He laid emphasis on the institute’s pillars — patient care, community services, research, teaching & training — which has made Sankara Nethralaya one of the leading eye hospitals in the country.
Sankara Nethralaya at Rameswaram commenced its services — paying-cum-free —in 2007. Keeping in mind the local needs, the hospital decided to rededicate its services as purely community based, thereby offering eye care services free-of-cost, from December 2009.
The hospital also proposes to step up its teleophthalmology services in the district, in a phased manner. In the initial phase, along with the assistance of social workers from the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, a team consisting of optometrists and an ophthalmologist will conduct eye camps thrice a week. Surgeries too will be performed thrice a week.
Residents attending the camp will undergo a comprehensive eye examination. Those who are prescribed glasses will be provided with one at the campsite. Patients who are recommended for cataract surgery will be taken by the Sankara Nethralaya team to the the main hospital at Rameswaram where a free-of-cost cataract surgery, using intraocular lens, will be performed on them. The boarding, transport and food for patients will be borne by Sankara Nethralaya, Rameswaram.