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Transformation and expansion to enable eyecare for all


Ispahani Islamia Eye Institute and Hospital: 02

expanding and transforming to ensure eyecare is available for everyone

EDITED BY

MATT HIGH PRODUCED BY

STUART IRVING


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I S PA H A N I I S L A M I A E Y E I N S T I T U T E A N D H O S P I TA L

Mridul Kumar Sarkar, CEO at Ispahani Islamia Eye Institute and Hospital, discusses the technological, educational and organisational transformations that are enabling it to realise its noble goals of offering eyecare for all regardless of their means

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n 1960, when there was no concept of any speciality hospital in the country, the Ispahani Islamia Eye Institute and Hospital

(IIEI&H) was incorporated as the first single organ healthcare institution in Bangladesh. Since that 04

time, it has developed to be the lead referral and teaching hospital, with all sub-specialties of Ophthalmology. IIEI&H serves over one million patients annually, many of whom come from remote areas of the country. The institute and hospital is undergoing a noble and holistic transformation, driven by the goal of enabling quality eye healthcare provision regardless of patient means. Having recently secured the Hospital of the Year Award for Bangladesh in the Healthcare Asia Awards 2019, the not-for-profit organisation’s remarkable expansion and transformation has not gone unnoticed. Mridul Kumar Sarkar, CEO at the institution, has driven significant operational and structural changes since he took charge in October 2015. “When I came here, the scenario was completely different,” he says. “Some


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systems were almost non-existent, we had to work very hard for a paradigm shift in bringing both those systems and a positive culture. That work was completed within two years, and we then realised the true strength of this organisation.” During Sarkar’s tenure, the organisation has expanded its presence from four hospitals to 21, and boosted its staff headcount from 565 to around 1,150 – 125 of whom are full-time w w w.i sl a mi a . org . b d


I S PA H A N I I S L A M I A E Y E I N S T I T U T E A N D H O S P I TA L

“Our commitment is to make services available for all who need them, irrespective of their social position or paying capacity” — Mridul Kumar Sarkar, CEO, Ispahani Islamic Eye Institute and Hospital 06

doctors of various disciplines. “Besides ophthalmologists, we also have cardiologists, anaesthesiologists, clinical pathologists and microbiologists to support the safe and quality clinical services,” says Mr. Sarkar. Besides its direct services to patients through its main and peripheral hospitals, the organisation has been providing nationwide services in eye care by putting a major focus on expanding out ophthalmic team across a range of positions and levels. Sarkar continues: “Since 1992 we have created 259 ophthalmologists which stands for 25% countries total strength and 643 ophthalmologists for Cataract surgical training (50% of total strength). The hospital has led Bangladesh eye care’s transition into sub-speciality era since 2011, which was of dire need at the time; in total, 151 ophthalmologists for in subspecialities were created, of whom 63 were international. “One of the unique things in our fellowship is the number of surgical cases that we offer, along with the one-to-one coaching that our institute provides,” Sarkar adds. The country, and the global ophthalmology community, has historically


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘VLOG II ISPAHANI ISLAMIA EYE INSTITUTE AND HOSPITAL, FARMGATE, DHAKA’

lacked dedicated ophthalmic nurses and mid-level ophthalmic personnel, a challenge that IIEI&H is working to address. The hospital has produced 170 mid-level ophthalmic technical personnel, has increased its mid-level technical skill training to 149 technicians and has provided ophthalmic Nursing training to 463 home nurses. Alongside all these mid-level training programmes – including optometry diplomas – from August 2020, the hospital will offer BSc and MSc optometry courses. “Ophthalmic w w w.i sl a mi a . org . b d

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nursing is a very demanding discipline,”

a great challenge. Therefore, IIEI&H is

elaborates Sarkar. “Across the global

actively considering the introduction of

eye hospital fraternity – whether in

a School of Nursing in Ophthalmology

London, the United States, Europe or

in 2020. This, it is hoped, will ultimately

other Asian countries – there is truly a

culminate in seamless eyecare opera-

scarcity of trained ophthalmic nurses.”

tions for all.

Sadly, the eye is still a least-priority

Focusing on quality standards for

organ, even for clinical service provid-

such a large not-for-profit hospital

ers. Conventional nursing curricula,

remains a distant dream however,

too, still give barely any emphasis to

even more so when people are not

ophthalmology – nursing graduates

covered with health insurance. In

are eventually ending up being trained

addition, despite the many measures

on the job, for example. However, the

being taken, patient safety remains

retention of such a skilled workforce is

an issue. In this regard, IIEI&H is all

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Mridul Kumar Sarkar Mridul has considerable experience in spearheading organisations and offers strong leadership and vision. He has worked in various life science, healthcare and medical roles worldwide and is a proven business strategist with strong technical and entrepreneurial acumen. At Ispahani Islamia Eye Institute and Hospital his mission is to accomplish the organisation’s mission, vision and strategic international goals. This includes setting strategic direction to develop and implement growth and development, developing sustainable financial strategies and foster continuous innovation.

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I S PA H A N I I S L A M I A E Y E I N S T I T U T E A N D H O S P I TA L

set for International Gold Quality Accreditation by Q4 of 2019. Achieving this will be a landmark achievement for the hospital, showcasing a visible model for other healthcare organisation to follow. Simultaneously, the hospital is currently undergoing the process of going paperless through the introduction of advanced ERP to offer multi-faceted benefits, not only in uplifting the quality of services and accelerating the green environment, but also to reduce its 10

service delivery timeline and ensure the optimal utilisation of resources. This will perfectly complement its


“We want to ensure that eyecare is affordable for everyone” — Mridul Kumar Sarkar, CEO, Ispahani Islamic Eye Institute and Hospital 11

new quality standards, meet interna-

paying capacity. We want to ensure

tional safety and help to meet clinical

that eyecare is affordable for everyone,”

research goals.

reiterates Sarkar, “and we strive to

Such developments are in tune with

make available at global standards. To

the hospital’s ongoing focus on futuris-

realise the vision of excellence in eye-

tic innovations. Another example of this

care across the globe and particularly

can be found in IIEI&H’s engagement in

for the underprivileged, you must blend

leveraging various data analytics and

heads and hearts. That is key to the

artificial intelligence (AI) for research

success of our mission.”

and hospital management purposes. “Our commitment is to make services available for all who need them, irrespective of their social position or w w w.i sl a mi a . org . b d


Ispahani Islamia Eye Institute and Hospital T +880 096 109 98333 www.islamia.org.bd

Profile for Business Review Asia

Ispahani Islamia Eye Institute October 2019  

Ispahani Islamia Eye Institute October 2019  

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