By Chong Wee Hou, Optometrist, International Eye Cataract Retina Centre, Singapore

There is nothing more satisfying for health care professionals than to see the smile on the face of a patient who has benefited from their expert medical care.

Ophthalmologists Dr Au Eong Kah Guan, Dr Ajeet Madhav Wagle and Dr Joy Chan from International Eye Cataract Retina Centre recently took part in a Farrer Park Hospital’s initiative to provide free cataract surgeries for deserving residents in the hospital’s nearby Pek Kio neighborhood. The doctors were delighted to contribute their expertise, time and skills to benefit the needy patients as part of the eye centre’s corporate social responsibility. Three cataract operations were performed on 3 different patients successfully between July and August 2017.

Cataract is the most common cause of reversible blindness and can negatively affect one’s quality of life by disrupting common activities of daily living such as reading and recognising faces. Impaired vision from cataract is associated with an increased risk of falls, hip fractures, road traffic accidents, depression and even premature deaths. Modern cataract surgery is not only able to restore vision to almost normal but can also reduce the associated morbidities and mortality.

Following the charity surgeries, the doctors were pleasantly surprised when they received an invitation from the patients’ Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar Group Representative Constituency (GRC) Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye to a “Thank You” lunch at Farrer Park Hospital together with the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Peng Chung Mien on 26 October 2017. The lunch was also attended by the patients as well as nursing staff from the hospital’s Day Surgery Suite and optometrists from International Eye Cataract Retina Centre who had helped the patients with their eye care journey.

The patients benefitted from the professional eye care including consultations with the surgeons, preoperative assessments using state-of-the-art equipment, modern computer-assisted sutureless cataract surgery and postoperative follow-up care, all of which were provided free of charge to the patients. The charity work was also generously supported by Carl Zeiss Pte Ltd, Bausch & Lomb (Singapore) Pte Ltd and Allergan Singapore Pte Ltd.

The smiles from the patients during the lunch meeting were testimony of the gratitude they felt towards the medical team that took excellent care of them.