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A high level deliberation throws light on a complex and intriguing area of eye care

As an eye care institution committed to a 360 degree approach to eye care, Sankara Nethralaya takes a holistic view of factors contributing to eye disorders, the institution has a most advanced neuro-ophthalmology department to diagnose eye ailments caused by nervous disorders or those transmitted from the brain/central nervous system. Vision impairments caused by traumatic brain surgeries, cerebro-vascular accidents including stroke, intracranial surgeries, intraocular tumour extraction, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and neurological illnesses contributed by ocular disturbances remain the most challenging and intriguing to ophthalmologists the world over. The neuro-optometry clinic started recently is a major initiative in addressing such issues. Sankara Nethralaya’s neuro-ophthalmology department conducted a ‘Symposium in Neuro ophthalmology: Afferents Plus Efferents’ (SYNAPSE 2K16) a high level interactive platform for Neuro-ophthalmologists, ophthalmologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, researchers and students to meet, explore, debate and exchange information, knowledge and real-time cases. The presence of internationally acclaimed professionals like Dr.Andrew Lee, Dr. Prem Padmanabhan,       Dr. Clement Tan, Dr. Dan Milieu, Dr Sharon Tow, Dr. G.Arjundas, Dr. Vivek Lal, Dr.. Lekha Pandit, Dr. Suresh Bapu, Dr. Sidharth Ghosh, Dr.Lingam Gopal, Dr. Depak Arjundas, and Dr.Lakshmi Narasimhalu underlined the significance of the meet.

The inaugural of the two day meet was graced by long time friend and well wisher of Sankara Nethralaya Professor Bala Balachandran, Founder of the world renowned Great Lakes University in India. Delivering the welcome address Dr S.Ambika, Senior Consultant, Neuro-Opthalmology Department thanked the distinguished guests for gracing the occasion, she explained that the objective of the meeting was to explore and study the best practices in neuro-ophthalmology, which she likened to an Alfred Hitchcock mystery. Dr. Ambika had a high word of praise for the neuro-ophthalmology team whose knowledge and work was exemplified by an exhaustive work like the ‘Atlas of Neurology’. Speaking on the occasion Dr. Smitha Praveen, Senior Consultant described Dr. Bala Balachander as a most inspiring academician, excellent teacher and described him as a man with the LSD quotient (Lakshmi-Profit, Saraswathi-Knowledge and Durga-Power). Professor Andrew Lee recalled his association with Sankara Nethralaya dating back to year 2002 and enthralled the audience with an audio-visual presentation titled ‘You are the hero of your own life’

Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya Dr.SS.Badrinath used the occasion to recall his journey of 37 years, right from the days at the Massachusetts Eye Infirmary, the influence of Dr.Charles L.Scheppens on his life, return to India, serving at the Voluntary Health Services Hospital, HM Hospital, Vijaya Hospital, the humble birth and remarkable growth of Sankara Nethralaya to an internationally acclaimed ophthalmic centre, successfully meeting the objective of providing excellent eye care, community ophthalmology, teaching and training and research. He had a high word of praise for the excellent work being carried out by the neuro-opthalmology clinic under Dr.S.Ambika. He emphasized that ‘Quality’ is the most important input and instrumental for the institution being awarded ISO, NABH, NABL, he implored the gathering to never, never compromise quality for quantity. He said it was a matter of utmost Joy that the institution could dispense quality eye care at modest tariff for all eye ailments under one roof, carry out focussed, India centric research and high quality teaching and training endeavours. Dr.SS.Badrinath thanked his colleagues for subscribing to his principle of working for a fixed salary and not engaging in private practice which added financial stress on the paying patients, a practice which impressed the legendary Nani Palkhivala to such an extent that he bequeathed a good portion of his wealth to the institution. He closed his touching talk by expressing his faith that his dedicated colleagues would continue the journey started 38 years ago in the same spirit and philosophy.

Speaking on the topic Technology in Healthcare Management and Data Analysis Dr.Bala Balachandar emphasized that in an increasingly demanding world one has to be distinct or extinct, adding that in  a world of emerging disruptive technologies it is imperative for healthcare providers to adapt themselves to the latest technology, he highlighted that in a world of Uberization, it is critical for healthcare institutions to adapt to corporate practices like mergers, strategic alliances, technology, cyber security and seek the expertise of intermediaries and money managers, like any other enterprise, to survive and succeed in an extremely competitive marketplace. He clarified that making money should not be construed as an unethical exercise; underlining strongly that money should be in good hands, he emphasized that otherwise it would find its way to the hands of undesirable elements; he urged the gathering to earn money legally and ethically.

The high power event came to a close with a Vote of Thanks by Dr.Shikha Talwar Bhassi,   Senior Consultant, Sankara Nethralaya.

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