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The idea of establishing an intraocular implant training centre in China was initiated by two world class ophthalmologists: Professor Yuan Jia-Qin from China and Professor Arthur Lim from Singapore. Donated by Professor Lim and other international ophthalmologists and supported by the Tianjin Municipal Government, the International Intraocular Implant Training Centre (IIITC) officially commenced operation in 1989. Being the first ophthalmic Microsurgery training centre in China, the IIITC had been committed to train Chinese Ophthalmologists in Cataract Surgery and Intraocular Lens (IOL) implantation skills, as well as research and design of the IOLs. Its establishment is a significant milestone of the development of the ophthalmic microsurgery in China. The IIITC brought together a large group of Chinese Ophthalmologists, who devoted themselves relentlessly to teach this sight-restoring technique for cataract patients across China.

By the late 1990s, the IIITC had outgrown its quarters. In 1998, Professor Arthur Lim and his family launched another campaign of donation to raise USD 500,000 for the phase II expansion project. In September 1999, the IIITC held the 12th International Meeting of Cataract, Implant, Microsurgery and Refractive Keratoplasty (ICIMRK) in conjunction with the 4th IIITC International Eye Meeting. In the same year the IIITC affiliated with Tianjin Medical University and built a coordinate partnership with Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC). As a result, the IIITC now serves as the Tianjin Medical University Eye Center (TMUEC). Faculties of the TMUEC regularly take fellowship programs from SNEC. The knowledge exchange between these two Centers laid a solid foundation for the accomplishment of Chinese Ophthalmologists and the development of TMUEC. In August 2004, Tianjin Medical University founded the College of Optometry and Ophthalmology, which was soon intergraded into the TMUEC. Since then, the TMUEC has been actively involved in frequent exchange and communication plans with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Optometry College of Chung Shan Medical University (Taiwan).

Phase III expansion of TMUEC launched with a total of 24,000 m2 in Tianjin Technology Development AreaTEDA in 2008. The new facility was officially launched in 2009 together with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of TMUEC.
Tianjin Medical University Eye Institute is located on the 5th floor of the building, was formally set up in 2012 and TMUEC was accredited as the National Drug Clinical Trial Base at same year.

Tianjin Medical University Eye Centre (TMUEC) was renamed as Tianjin Medical University Eye Hospital (TMUEH) in August 2012. TMUEH now consists of nine subspecialties including cataract, glaucoma, vitreo-retina ocular trauma , ocular plastic &orbital disease, cornea & refractive surgery, medical retina &neuro-ophthalmology, uveitis & ocular immunology and traditional Chinese ophthalmology, two institutes - eye institute and orbital diseases institute, and five treatment centres including diabetic eye disease prevention and control centre, refractive surgery centre, strabismus and pediatric ophthalmology centre myopic control centre and optometry centre.

Tianjin Medical University Eye Hospital