Opening of a new eye centre sets sight's on a clear vision for the future

Queensland Eye Institute will this week officially open its new premises at 140 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane. Spread over 4000m2, the five level centre will enable the Institute to significantly expand its research and teaching facilities, grow its existing suite of specialist eye services for patients and develop its vital relationships with clinical and scientific colleagues across Australia and overseas.

The new building will be opened during an official ceremony on Tuesday June 3 and houses a spacious high tech patient clinic, research laboratory and clinical trials unit as well as extensive teaching facilities including a hundred seat lecture theatre, catering for a wide range of education and training activities.

Queensland’s large decentralised population will benefit from excellent teleconference facilities to include regional as well as metropolitan ophthalmologists and trainees in educational activities that include Grand Rounds and educational courses.

Queensland Eye Institute clinicians will operate at the forefront of their sub-specialty with access to the latest diagnostic and treatment technologies. Significantly, two additional services are opening at the new premises – the Queensland Electro-Diagnostic & Imaging Centre and the South Bank Day Hospital.

The new facility will further QEI’s unique value proposition as one of the leading research institutes of its type in Australia. It combines research, education and clinical care into an integrated system where each positively impacts and influences the other, with all three areas making significant contributions within the general, research and medical communities.

Established in 2005 by the Prevent Blindness Foundation, QEI is an academic research institute in Queensland that is devoted to eye related health and disease.

According to QEI CEO Professor Mark Radford, “Development of the new facility thanks to the generosity the Sylvia & Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation and other corporate and community supporters, is a critical next step to providing more Queensland clinicians and researchers to work together and collaborate with Australian and overseas colleagues, to serve community needs on multiple levels.”

“Looking to the future, our vision remains the same – to provide excellence in research, education and clinical care to reduce the incidence of eye disease, improve eye health and prevent eye disease, and to ultimately eliminate preventable blindness in the community.”

The prevalence of visual impairment, blindness and eye disease in Australia is significant. Numbers are increasing, along with the economic costs to the community. Research into eye health and disease is particularly important in Australia, not just because of its ageing population, but also because of the greater likelihood of eye damage as a result of excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays.

Currently more than 12,500 patients are treated by Queensland Eye Institute clinicians every year. Over 4000 medical students and 60 registrars have received advanced training through QEI.

The Institute’s clinical staff and senior research scientists are leaders in their sub specialties and fields, contributing to both the global knowledge pool as well as ensuring that services provided to the immediate community remain leading edge.

Importantly, Queensland Eye Institute’s new phase of growth will further enhance the quality of clinical care provided to patients and their families – with specialists continuing to treat patients for some of the most complex and serious eye conditions, many of which result in vision saving or even life saving treatment outcomes.