Pretoria Eye Institute was the first private eye care center on the African continent and was set up to provide adequate eye coverage for all levels of South African society. The institute has 40 beds and has performed over 30 000 Lasik surgeries since its inauguration, in 1991. The institute also liaises with ophthalmologic research facilities internationally to ensure that it is at the forefront of research into new techniques for eye care. The Institute also actively seeks donations and funding to provide cataract removal procedures to many of the rural and urban poor in South Africa.1,3
The website is well designed and contains some information about the facilities at Pretoria Eye Institute, but does not contain much information specifically for the foreign health tourist. However, South Africa is a country well served by flights and hotels as it is a major tourist destination. In addition, it is probably one of the most interesting countries on earth to visit, so the chance to have the holiday of a lifetime after using the outpatient facilities at the Institute, should be no great hardship.2
Facilities at this small but well equipped clinic match anywhere else in the world. As well as six operating theatres, it uses the latest technology, including the Allegretto Wave Eximer Laser, one of the most advanced laser surgery tools in the world. The Pretoria Eye Institute also boasts eye sonar, visual field analyzers and flurescein cameras to ensure quick and safe treatments. In addition, the facility has a dedicated clinic for fitting and crafting prosthetic eyes for those who have suffered accidents or illness. The facility provides 24h nursing care in case of emergencies, and all staff are fluent in English.1
Pretoria Eye Institute performs many kinds of eye care, mainly being renowned for laser corrective surgery with the safe Lasik technique. The clinic also performs surgery for cataracts, retinal detachment, corneal transplants, and specializes in pediatric surgery, amongst a multitude of other operations.1 The medical staff are highly trained and undergo regular refresher training to keep abreast of the latest developments and techniques in the field of eye care.1 The facility also works closely with the South African eye-bank, to ensure that patients on a waiting list for corneal transplants can be treated quickly and efficiently.1
The site also gives a very honest assessment about some of the procedures performed and informs the patient of and risks as complications, as well as realistically informing patients of the results expected.1 There is no information about prices on the site but South Africa tends to be much cheaper than the US or Europe. Flights can be a little expensive, but if combined with a relaxing vacation, the treatment is worth a little extra expense.3
Reviews on the Pretoria Eye Institute are very hard to find. There are certainly no bad reviews on the facility and this tends to be a good sign, with reviewers more likely to post bad reviews than good. South Africa is generally regarded as a safe and cheap destination for health tourism with private medical groups investing heavily in the country.