SGLEH aims to become a Centre of Excellence in Eastern India. Following are few important objectives for achieving its long-term goal:
- Develop a Regional Learning and Training Centre to commence various short and long-term training courses to build capacity of ophthalmic and paramedical personnel and eye hospitals of Eastern Region.
- Set up full-fledge specialty departments – Low Vision, Cornea, Oculoplasty and Glaucoma.
- Initiate qualitative, clinical and operational research on various eye care related issues for improving uptake of eye care services.
- Expand eye care service delivery in under-served areas through setting up of new eye hospital and Vision Centers.
Need of Eye Care Services and Facilities in North Bengal:
Availability and accessibility of eye care services in North Bengal are much lower compare to other parts of West Bengal. An analysis of four primary catchment districts of Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital – Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, Coochbehar and Uttar Dinajpur reveals that the annual estimated need for eye care services of Cataract and Refractive Errors itself is 227,473 and 718,799 respectively (calculation based on 2001 census). At present the hospital is covering only 2% of cataract and refractive error need of the service population. Regarding other eye care services like Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma and Paediatric Eye Care, the hospital is able to meet only 1% of the service requirement. Along with eye care facility, another limitation is lack of adequate trained eye care personnel in this region. There is no dedicated eye care training facility. SGLEH has already started long-term training for Optometrists, Vision Technicians and Ophthalmic Assistants.
In keeping with its vision of transforming the quality of eye care delivery in North Bengal, SGLEH’s plans for the future are focussed on developing world-class eye care facilities and ophthalmic training centre. Within the next couple of years, SGLEH plans to set up another state-of-the-art eye care facility in and around Siliguri, on 2-3 acres of land. This 80-bed hospital will offer comprehensive world class care to patients, including all eye specialties and super-specialties. It will incorporate a separate building for patients from the community outreach programme, a training centre for paramedical ophthalmic assistants (OAs), a training centre for the ophthalmologists and optometrists, a research centre as well as living quarters for doctors and other staff.