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Sankara Nethralaya
Sankara Nethralaya
 
In a developing country like India, the ophthalmologist-patient ratio stands at a dismal 1:10,000. What makes this wide gap between demand and availability of eye care even more critical is its inequitable spread, 70% of the nation’s citizens live in rural areas while 70% of its eye care professionals live in urban areas; this makes eye care delivery to patients in the rural areas a daunting task to the medical fraternity. As an institution committed to its founding principle of cost free service with a personal touch to those who cannot afford to pay, Sankara Nethralaya realized right from the time of its inception that for every single indigent patient who visited its centres seeking cost free eye care there were two such patients outside needing such care. It also realized that patients in rural areas may not avail eye care dispensed at a base hospital in the city owing to several socio-economic factors andthe only way to dispense preventive and curative eye care to this segment would be through outreach programs. After evaluating several outreach options in terms of reach, efficacy and cost it decided that ‘Teleophthalmology’ holds great potential to improve the quality, access and affordability in eye care especially for patients in rural areas by reducing the need for travel and providing virtual access to a super-specialist right at their doorstep.Sankara Nethralaya’s Teleophthalmology units have been in the forefront of the institution’s battle against blindness for more than two decades, successfully reaching out quality eye care to a large number of patients in rural Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
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