Ministry, Embassy negotiate the reopening of a once promising eye clinic
Two years after shutting down an India eye clinic, OIA Indian Eye Care Center, on a slew of complaints over negligence and questions on the qualifications of its Indian eye doctors, the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Zewditu Hospital are negotiating with the Embassy of India to transfer the center over to Zewditu, Zelalem Chemdesa (MD), managing director of the hospital confirmed to The Reporter.
Founded on the principle of a landmark public-private-partnership with the Overseas Infrastructure Alliance (OIA) in 2014, the center opened with much fanfare and in the presence of dignitaries such as the President of Ethiopia, Mulatu Teshome (PhD) and former mayor of Addis Ababa, Deriba Kuma. However, it was doomed from the get go with mounting complaints from customers, many people pressuring the government to take an immediate action.
Its sudden closure left hundreds of customers in limbo, in the midst of treatment. Today, many state-of-the-art medical equipment and supplies have been left stranded inside the once promising center, with a lone guard at its entrance.
When the center opened, it won an early endorsement of the Addis Ababa Regional Health Bureau and was called “the shining example of a successful world class partnership”. It planned to have a subsidized service to vulnerable clients as well as an in house training space for aspiring surgeons and paramedics.
Its lead ophthalmologist, Rashmin Gandhi (MD) said at its inauguration, it planned to treat up to 100, 000 patients and perform 10,000 sight restoring surgeries in just three years. It planned to build a capacity building system for public institutions and was set to open Mobile Eye Care clinics to serve those in the rural parts of the country.
The Reporter reached out to the Ambassador of India to Ethiopia, Anurag Srivastava, but as of press time, there was no reply.