Eye surgery withdrawn

Elizabeth Robb, of Armadale, will have to travel to Bentley Hospital for cataract surgery. Picture: David Baylis d405547
Elizabeth Robb, of Armadale, will have to travel to Bentley Hospital for cataract surgery. Picture: David Baylis d405547

‘I have been a volunteer with the auxiliary for nearly 30 years and now, at 81, I need cataracts done.

‘I would rather wait a little longer for Armadale than have to find my way to Bentley.’

A hospital spokesman said the hospital was grateful for the auxiliary’s continued support.

‘In 1991, AKMH was a beneficiary of a Slit Lamp (value: $42,400) purchased by the AKMH Auxiliary,’ he said.

‘This diagnostic equipment has been very useful in the hospital’s Emergency Department and continues to be used by doctors and nurse practitioners to examine patients’ eyes for foreign objects, ulcers and other possible injuries.

‘This equipment is not used for ophthalmic surgery.’

The hospital last financial year performed about 64 eye surgeries but surgeries booked after September 12 will be diverted to Bentley Hospital.

By moving eye surgeries to Bentley, the hospital hopes to free up waitlists and theatre time.

The withdrawal of surgeries from Armadale was raised in Parliament this month when Health Minister Kim Hames revealed AKMH had a problem with long surgery waiting lists.

When Armadale MLA Tony Buti challenged the minister about decreasing capacity at Armadale and taking a service to another hospital, Dr Hames said ‘the hospital has a set number of theatres and they can only work a certain amount of time.’