CATARACT surgeries have more than doubled on the Border as a result of a partnership between the public and private health systems.
The Albury Day Surgery Centre, the Albury Ophthalmologists and Albury Wodonga Health partnered six months ago following an increased waiting list for the surgery.
“There was a dramatic increase in capacity, we couldn’t have done it ourselves,” Albury Wodonga Health chief executive Stuart Spring said.
“It’s resulted in a large reduction in the number of people on the waiting list.”
Over the past six months, 756 patients have had surgery, more than twice the number treated last year.
Of those patients treated, 550 had their procedure performed at the Albury Day Surgery Centre and the remainder were treated in the new Wodonga’s hospital day surgery centre.
Ophthalmic surgeon Dr Paul Giles said patients were now backing up to have their other eye treated.
The waiting list for cataract surgery now stands at 535 and it is estimated those patients will be treated within nine months.
Dr Spring said while about 20 patients had been waiting more than a year for their eye surgery for a range of reasons, the majority of patients were now waiting less than nine months.
“It’s an excellent opportunity to show what the public and private sectors can do in partnership,” he said.
It is expected the program will continue throughout the year.
Ophthalmologists at Wodonga hospital have also had a helping hand with the use of a new state-of-the-art microscope that replace equipment more than 20 years old.
The $200,000 microscope has also helped reduce the waiting list.
It was funded by a grant from the Victorian Health Department.