To mark the 20th anniversary of the Miranza Begitek clinic, we spoke to its founder and Medical Director, Javier Mendicute, on the major milestones reached over its 20 years of history.
What were the origins of Begitek?
Begitek stemmed from the desire to create an ophthalmological care model that had a different vision to the ophthalmology practices in Gipuzkoa in the 90s. At that time, consulting offices in Gipuzkoa were sole proprietorships, with just one professional who dealt with any ophthalmological disorder. Since the late 80s, first in the United States and, from the 90s, in Europe, the first clinics arose that were made up by several specialists with specific training in particular eye disorders. Several ophthalmologists, including me, wanted to bring this model to Donostia-San Sebastian and, by joining forces, we were able to access the most sophisticated technology and acquire much more experience in the diagnosis and treatment of complex disorders.
That was in around 2003, was it not?
Yes, we opened in 2003 Begitek, leading ophthalmology clinic in Gipuzkoa and started work at our present location, on Plaza Teresa de Calcuta, with facilities that met our expectations, as we had enough space and technology to offer quality care. But we had been collaborating for several years in what we called the Institute of Ophthalmology, which, along with four ophthalmologists, we established at Clínica del Pilar in February 1995.
Which of its distinguishing features would you highlight?
High technology in diagnostic and therapeutic equipment; consultancy work with different companies from the sector in the development of the equipment; strong research and development, taking part in different clinical trials; the clinical and surgical experience of our professionals and, above all, proximity to patients, from a professional and human viewpoint. We are constantly working on ensuring personalised care remains our distinguishing feature, which is something we have been for several years under Miranza and which we are also now doing with the European network of ophthalmology groups: veonet.
Let us talk about these groups that Begitek has joined
We joined Miranza in 2019. In fact, I am a member of the Clinical Leaders Forum (CLF), part of the Group’s joint medical management, from where we lay out the medical guidelines for all the Miranza centres. In 2022, we joined veonet, a European network of 250 ophthalmology clinics. Working jointly, with both Spanish and European colleagues, provides us with a better perspective and with knowledge of the successful models of practice in other centres, cities and countries, as well as extensively corroborated areas of process management.
What is it about your current activity that stands out?
The Refractive Surgery and Presbyopia Surgery Units, Dry Eye, Glaucoma, Oculoplastics Surgery, Paediatric Ophthalmology, as well as the Medical and Retina Surgery Units, with a special focus on the macula, are highly developed. We also have all the necessary technology to perform our work safely, efficiently and with the medical excellence our patients deserve.
What about your future projects?
Along with the clinic in Donostia, we have consulting offices in Beasain and Zarautz. In Donostia, we have state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic equipment and a surgical area in which we apply the most ground-breaking techniques. We extended the clinic for the first time 10 years ago, and I can now announce that we will be extending the head offices at Teresa de Calcuta once again in early 2024 to include over twenty consulting rooms and two large surgical areas. This new extension will enhance Paediatric Ophthalmology so that we can become more involved in children’s health. We want to continue being worthy of our patients’ trust and to ensure their eyesight and that of future generations is better and longer lasting!