Eye on shorter wait lists

Pre-operative and post-surgical care will stay in Armadale.

Health Minister Kim Hames came under fire from Armadale MLA Tony Buti last week over the move, but Dr Hames said he wanted to shorten patients’ surgery wait times.

‘We don’t want any patient to wait for their elective surgery longer than the acceptable recommended time, and this approach allows for more surgical patients to receive timely and accessible care,’ Dr Hames said.

‘The planned move means more (Armadale) patients will have their elective surgery within acceptable times, which will lead to patients having a better quality of life sooner.

‘This transfer will not disadvantage patients awaiting ophthalmic surgery as Bentley Hospital specialises in the management of high-volume, low-acuity surgeries.’

Dr Buti said he was disappointed ophthalmology surgery would cease in Armadale.

‘Bentley is an ageing facility with only two theatres and there is no other hospital south of the river that is able to provide an ophthalmic service,’ Dr Buti said.

‘That means Armadale and southern communities’ patients booked for surgery at Armadale will now have to go back on a waiting list for up to a year.’

He urged Dr Hames and Premier Colin Barnett to reverse the decision, of which Armadale surgeons were informed by letter.