Work not done in Port Arthur for ophthalmologist

Published 3:34 pm Friday, March 9, 2018

When Singla Eye Institute of Port Arthur closed due to damages from Tropical Storm Harvey, Dr. Raj Singla knew he would return and reopen. It happened four months later.

“It was so hard to get a contractor. However we found some good people. They have been a blessing,” Singla said. “We only reopened half of the building. We’ll do the rest of the building later. It was a rough four to five months, but we survived.”

Singla said he worked out of his Beaumont office at 3385 Laurel St. Now he predominately works out of the Port Arthur location at 3000 39th St. and spends two days a week in Beaumont.

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“We’re a fully functional office now. The equipment is a big investment,” he said.

Singla is an ophthalmologist who specializes in LASIK, photorefractive keratectomy, glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and other diseases of the eye. Patients can be treated here rather than traveling to Houston.

Within ophthalmology there are subsets and Singla covers most of them. He started Singla Eye Institute in Port Arthur in 1980. Tropical Storm Harvey dealt the practice a severe blow, however, and his office had to be gutted to be rebuilt.

Singla said he had flood insurance, but he said the payout was very minimal and he had to cough up some of his own money. He added that optometry uses many machines and he probably lost more than $1 million worth of machines from Harvey. He hasn’t rebuilt the laser center yet but may later this year if the pocketbook allows.

“We were determined to come back. It would be easy to walk away,” he said.

“It’s very expensive equipment, but we can’t do without it. We don’t compromise on the quality of the equipment. It’s state of the art,” he said.

He may lease 5,500 square feet of space in the building to medical practices.

The office has a new design too and the patients love it, he said.

“It’s open and nice, like where the optical department is now. We have some good specialists coming in,” he said. “We’ve had some good things come out of Harvey. There’s a silver lining. We’re happy to be back and the patients tell us they’re glad we came back. It was hard on them. A lot of them are still out of their homes.”