Soon, people with low income will also be able to get their vision corrected to lead spectacle-free lives.
From July, the state-run JJ Hospital in Byculla is set to start performing Lasik surgery, wherein laser is used to correct far and short-sightedness.
It will be the first government hospital in India to offer Lasik surgery.
The surgery will cost the hospital Rs 10,000 but patients will need to pay just Rs 7,000. The rest will be taken care of by the state government. Below Poverty Line patients will not be charged at all.
Considering that private doctors charge anywhere between Rs 35,000 and Rs 50,000, this will be a boon for people who would otherwise have not been able to afford it.
“So far, the surgery was out of reach for majority of people. I have come across many cases where fathers have spent their savings on the surgery for their daughters before getting them married,” said Dr T.P. Lahane, dean of JJ Hospital.
He added that the surgery would also benefit people who want to play outdoor sports or get into the police force, military or other professions that require uncorrected vision.
“Lasik is not just done for cosmetic reasons. It also helps in correcting opacity of cornea and other problems that lead to compromised vision,” said Dr Lahane, who is a senior eye surgeon.
JJ Hospital has already purchased equipment and accessories worth Rs 3.16 crore for the surgery. The ophthalmology department hopes to start conducting surgeries in the first week of July.
Since the main Lasik procedure takes barely 10 minutes, doctors will be in a position to handle up to 20 cases per day.