European Eye Center first opened its doors in Thao Dien in 2017 and has recently moved to a new bigger, and better place at 41 Nguyen Duy Hieu. Run by Dr. JD Ferwerda, an experienced medical doctor and eye specialist, he is proudly renowned for providing the best, top quality, western standard eye care in Vietnam.
“I’d love to be remembered for being a professional, friendly, and compassionate doctor.”
Dr. JD Ferwerda, European Eye Center
Dr. JD was born on the island of Curacao, which is part of the Dutch Caribbean. He says, “coming from a family of doctors, I knew early on I wanted to be a doctor. So I went to medical school in the Netherlands and specialized in ophthalmology in Belgium, after which I returned to Curacao and opened my ophthalmology clinic.”
In 2000, Dr. JD returned to the Netherlands to do a fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery and worked for more than 20 years as an ophthalmologist and vitreoretinal surgeon before coming to Vietnam.
“As I was born and grew up on an island in the Caribbean, the sea was always close by. I have always loved sailing and fishing, or just being out on the water,” Dr. JD says.
Dr. JD was first inspired to move to Vietnam after a visit to a childhood friend. He saw the need for quality eye care here, and after a few more visits to this country, he and his family decided to move.
He joined another eye clinic in HCMC initially but, after two years, decided to open his own. Having more than 20 years of experience in running a medical clinic and his wife, who is also a doctor, certainly has the know-how.
The focus of the center is on the quality of medical care provided. “Having our own business and being in charge also ensures the quality of the care we give,” says Dr. JD. Their mission is simple: to bring the highest standard of eye care to Vietnam and take away the need to travel to Singapore or Bangkok for this specialized care (when travel allows).
As a retina specialist, Dr. JD treats patients for diabetic eye disease, retina detachments, and a lot of cataracts and Prelex surgery, glaucoma treatments, dry eye disease, and of course, regular eye checks and screenings.
Guidance, awareness, and education are all critical to the team at European Eye Center, who seek to help wherever they can. Being a proud member of the community, Dr. JD is an active participant in the ROP (Retinopathy of prematurity) project. This social initiative aims to prevent infant blindness due to prematurity.
This is still a big problem in Vietnam, so Dr. JD offers his expertise to local ophthalmologists in cooperation with Children’s Hospital 1 in HCMC. Their focus is on prevention through education and screening, but sometimes surgery is necessary. Dr. JD is currently the only one doing surgery on babies under 4kg in Vietnam but hopes to teach others to do this in the future.
Another area of focus is diabetic retinopathy, which is also a major cause of blindness in Vietnam. As a leading expert in this field, Dr. JD hopes to impact Vietnam and the surrounding countries positively.
Being in the middle of Thao Dien, almost next to Starbucks, the center connects physically with the community through the care they give. They are also prominent members of the Thao Dien online community.
Dr. JD speaks five languages (fluent in English, Dutch, and Spanish, basic in French and German) and is currently learning to speak Vietnamese.
To ensure the whole community feels inclusive, there is always a certified medical translator available for Vietnamese patients in the clinic, and soon this service will be available for Korean and Japanese patients also. The team wants to make every step possible to place patient communication and customer service at the top of everything they do.
“We contribute to the development of high standard quality medical care in Vietnam by example and by actively participating in education.”
Dr. JD Ferwerda, European Eye Center