70 doctors may train in Canada
Targeting a potentially huge market of customers who want to throw away their eyeglasses forever, a Bethesda-based health care consultant is trying to build a chain of laser eye surgery centers in 10 to 15 metropolitan cities, including two centers for Baltimore.
To do that, Gary Jonas needs three things: federal approval for the laser technology, doctors, and at least $5 million.
Last week, an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended approval of the fast-pulsing excimer laser, which removes tissue from the central cornea to correct nearsightedness. The FDA is expected to make its final decision by next fall.
Meanwhile, Jonas is negotiating with a local eye services' chain to recruit as many as 70 Baltimore eye doctors to travel to Toronto to learn how to perform the procedure. The surgery has been legal in Canada for several years.