Our People & Our Story

Our team of Laser surgeons and specialists deliver superb results that improve peoples lives; all in a friendly, professional, and warm manner in our state-of-the-art sight correction centre.


With multiple consultation clinics conveniently located across the North Island, we inform and assure you every step of the way, that vision correction is nothing to be worried about. Our centrally located Hamilton surgery offers multiple vision correction and pricing options. These are tailored to each person, making the Laser Eye Centre stand out from the rest.

Dr Bheema Patil

MBBS, MS (Ophth), FRCS Ophth (Edinburgh), FRANZCO; PG Dip MS

I studied Medicine and did my postgraduate ophthalmic residency in India. Thereafter I moved to UK and continued my higher specialist training in Ophthalmology and worked in many prestigious eye hospitals including Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham and Nottingham University hospitals. My special interests are Refractive laser & lens exchange surgeries, cataract surgery, Medical retina including age related macular degeneration & diabetic retinal diseases and general ophthalmology.

I am a Fellow of Royal Colleges of Edinburgh (FRCS Ed) and a Fellow of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (FRANZCO). I am also a member of Australasian and European Cataract and Refractive Societies and American Academy of Ophthalmologists.

I have been practicing as a specialist eye surgeon in Hamilton since 2008. I have private clinics at Laser Eye centre, Hamilton Eye Clinic, Bridgewater day Surgery and Pohlen hospital in Matamata and held the position of Clinical Director for Ophthalmology services at Waikato Public Hospital.

Family is very important to me. I am married to Sudha, a Pathologist, mum and my best friend. We are the proud parents of an adult son and a daughter (both currently successfully studying medicine) & love our cute little dog Milly. When not working, I enjoy traveling the world, visiting family and friends, long rides on my Harley Davidson motor bike, music, riverside runs and hiking beautiful NZ mountains.

Dr Michael Merriman

MBChB FRANZCO

Michael Merriman specialises in cataract, refractive and glaucoma surgery. He has been working in Hamilton for 9 years after completing fellowship training in Britain at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and the West of England Eye Unit in Exeter. He has clinics at The Laser Eye Centre, Hamilton Eye Clinic, and also is a Consultant Specialist at Waikato Hospital.

Actively involved in the Royal Australian and NZ College of Ophthalmologists, he is on the Qualification and Education Committee and is the Director of Training for junior doctors working as registrars in the specialty in New Zealand.

He did his medical school training at University of Auckland and now is a Senior Lecturer for the university teaching medical students.

Member of the Australasian Cataract and Refractive Society, the Australian and NZ Glaucoma Interest Group and the American Cataract and Refractive Society. Michael has a keen interest in LASIK and other refractive correction procedures.

Anton Frank

MSc, NZAO Optometrist

Anton Frank graduated as an Optometrist in Austria in 1986, where he also gained a Diploma in Contact Lens Practice. After completing post graduate studies in Germany and the US, he has been awarded a Masters Degree in Clinical Optometry from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry USA in 1997.

He was the first Optometrist in continental Europe being awarded the European Diploma in Optometry. In 2006 he gained a Certificate in Ocular Pharmacology from the Department of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand. He moved from Austria to (lovely) New Zealand in 2002 and joined Dr. Doug Cox in Feb. 2003, assisting with clinical assessments. He also works in private optometric practice in Hamilton.

Oliver Svadlenak

BSc, MSc Clinical Optometry, TPA, NZAO

I graduated as an Optometrist in Vienna, Austria in 1992, where I also gained a Diploma in Contact Lens Practice. I hold a BSC in Optometry from the Salus University, Philadelphia, USA. After completing my master’s postgraduate studies in 2008, I was awarded a Masters Degree in Clinical Optometry from the Danube University, Austria and the Salus University in Philadelphia,USA. I also gained a Graduate Certificate in ocular therapeutics from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.

Eye-care has always been my passion, having been 'born into' a family with a long tradition in Optometry. Actually my great grandfather Johann Svadlenak founded our business in Vienna, Austria in 1895. After his son and then my father I took over and successfully further expanded the Optometry business. In addition I held lectures in Optics at the Vienna Academy of Optometry and was a board member of the guild of health professions. I was involved in the professional education for Opticians and Audiometrists.

After falling in love with New Zealand while travelling here my family and I decided to move to Hamilton and join the Laser Eye Centre. My special interests are refractive Laser Vision Correction and a variety of other refractive treatments to free my patients from the need of glasses.


Tanisha Watt

B. Optom (Hons) TPA, Optometrist

I graduated as an Optometrist from the University of Auckland in 2012. I graduated with Honours and Therapeutic Endorsement meaning that I can prescribe ocular medications. In 2016 I also obtained my glaucoma accreditation which means I can prescribe ocular medication for the treatment of glaucoma.

I joined the Laser Eye Centre team in 2015 after two years working in private practice in Tauranga and Hamilton. I also work part time at the Hamilton Eye Clinic, assisting Dr Merriman with his glaucoma and cataract clinics.

I published an article in an optometry medical journal ‘Clinical and Experimental Optometry’ in January 2015 which was the Editor’s Choice and lead article of that issue. It was entitled “Vision in Children with Down Syndrome”. I have also given a lecture on this topic at the University of Auckland in 2012. 

I enjoy the more specialised areas of optometry, such as laser vision correction and ocular disease. I really enjoy working alongside the ophthalmologists and the other optometrists to help improve people’s quality of life rather than just selling them another pair of glasses.

In my spare time I enjoy swimming and playing waterpolo, as well as spending time with family and friends.


Melissa Zhu

B. Optom (Hons) TPA, Optometrist

I graduated from the University of Auckland's School of Optometry in 2018 with an Honours Degree and Therapeutic Endorsement. Looking for a challenge and to further myself professionally, I became one of few new graduates employed in regional New Zealand as the sole Optometrist of a busy practice. After general practice in New Plymouth for 2 years, I joined the Laser Eye Centre team in 2021. 

Vision correction and improving people's quality of life has always been a passion of mine, ever since I was diagnosed with a significant binocular vision problem at age 12. After spending the rest of my teenage years wondering how it was magically fixed, I decided to embark on a journey at university to be part of the solution others. I enjoy the specialised parts of Optometry, especially visual processing and corneal disease, as well as simply the joy of communicating with new people. I speak fluent English and Mandarin Chinese, and was awarded JLPT N2 certification in Japanese in 2011. 

Outside of practice, I can be found at the tennis courts, drawing on my tablet, or studying Chinese cooking.

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