I’ve just come back from Malaysia and the Middle East where I spread my time between Kuala Lumpur, Bahrain and Dubai. Bahrain is familiar territory to me: I’ve had six trips there over the past twelve years, making eyes for clients in the Middle East. I work with the Delmon Group which established itself as an optical store before diverting into audiology and speach therapy. The practice is staffed by people from India, the Philippines, Iraq, Jordan, Nepal and Bahrain. It was a great pleasure working with people from such interesting and diverse backgrounds.
The reason for my trip to Kuala Lumpur was to talk to specialists about setting up an artificial eye clinic there. I met with Dr Chin, an ophthalmologist, who introduced me to the Chief Executive Officer of the Sunway Medical Centre.
A new ward is being opened in the hospital which will be staffed by six ophthalmologists. They are interested in establishing an artificial eye clinic within the ophthalmology ward. We plan to do an introductory presentation for the ophthalmologists and optometrists in KL. I plan to outline the procedures and techniques for the fitting of artificial eyes, as well as showing the benefits of individually hand-crafted eye prostheses. Throughout Asia and the Middle east people are generally fitted with stock eyes that are made in India. Artificial eyes are rarely custom made. I was impressed with the professionalism of the administration at the Sunway Medical Centre. I was there for not much more than half an hour and within this time we had an agreement to establish the clinic and had a marketing strategy worked out.
In Dubai I had discussions with Thomas Claeson from The Middle East Dental Laboratory. The laboratory is incredibly modern with state of the art technology and a motivated workforce. They have beautiful rooms on Sheik Side Drive which is a modern and impressive part of Dubai. The service we provide would be complimentary to what they are doing as we use many of the same tools and materials. We are looking at setting something up for late September. They will provide rooms for me and take advance bookings. Dubai currently has a population of about one million people, but this is forecast to change dramatically over the next decade. It is a growing tourist destination with incredable developement at the moment, all you can see everywhere is cranes and scaffolding.
My overseas clinics will take me away from our Perth lab for about sixteen weeks each year. It’s an exciting time both offering a quality service to overseas clients, as well as providing an education for professionals.
The only drawback is that Jenny tends to work eleven hour days during my absence. We are looking to take on an apprentice soon to help ease the workload.