First European Laser Eye Surgery Centre Opens in Astana

ASTANA – The first European Laser Eye Surgery Centre has opened in Astana at the Republican Diagnostic Center (RDC), in collaboration with the Slovakian Oftum Clinic, with the focus on eye diagnostics, surgery and treatment of complicated eye diseases.

“In order to receive an eye surgery, Kazakh citizens do not necessarily need to go abroad now, such operations can be performed in Astana,” said RDC Chairman of the Board and President of the Association of Diagnostic Centres of Kazakhstan Nurzhan Otarbayev.

“Those Kazakhs who travel abroad and spend a certain amount of money [for such surgeries], can now save up to 70 percent on accommodation and airfares, plus such operations require certain post-operational observations, which can be hard to arrange in a foreign country,” Otarbayev explained.

According to him, the project has been in the process of establishment for about nine months from the beginning of the year. It has been realised thanks to the systematic work with colleagues from Slovakia and the support of young Kazakh entrepreneurs who have a clear understanding of the goals of the head of state to attract foreign investors. “I am glad that there are businessmen in Kazakhstan who connect medicine with investors from abroad, because physicians are used to their own circle and do not have communication with the potential investors who would be willing to enter [the market of Kazakhstan],” said the chairman.

The investments, which have amounted to 2.5 million euros to date, according to RDC’s press service, include operational equipment, the construction of the centre according to European clinical standards, three operating rooms, using unidirectional flow diffusers with built-in micro filter ceiling type (laminar flow) and Ophthalmic Diagnostic module. Facilities are equipped with the latest laser equipment, the first in Kazakhstan excimer laser MEL90 and the only in Astana femtosecond laser Visumax, totaling 800,000 euros. Surgeries will be carried out by experts from Europe with further training by RDC’s own specialists.

“We have performed eight refractive laser surgeries since Oct. 16,” said the Head of the Department of Minimally Invasive Ophthalmic Surgery at the RDC Aida Smagulova.

“To date, refractive laser surgery is a new kind of ophthalmology. It is not very developed and presented in only major centres such as Astana, Almaty and Karaganda. Such methodologies, which Oftum offers today, will be used ​​for the first time in Kazakhstan,” she concluded.

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