Cataract surgery waiting times halved at State’s main eye hospital

Opening of new operating theatre at Eye and Ear Hospital cuts wait time to 12 months

Minister for Health Simon Harris (left), with patient Sr Margaret Quinn at the opening of the cataract unit at Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin in 2017. Photograph:  Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography.

Minister for Health Simon Harris (left), with patient Sr Margaret Quinn at the opening of the cataract unit at Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin in 2017. Photograph: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography.

 

Waiting times for cataract surgery at the State’s main eye hospital have been halved since the opening of a new operating theatre in June 2017.

The Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin says it has increased the number of cataract procedures by 82 per cent, to almost 3,000, in the first nine months of this year.

Waiting times for the commonly performed procedure have been cut from 24 months to 12 months as a result, the hospital says.

The improvement follows the opening of a €1.6 million cataract theatre last year, which was funded by philanthropic donations. The theatre is staffed by 15 consultant ophthalmic surgeons.

Patrick Dowling, president of the hospital council, said it was satisfied with the performance of the new facility. “The most important thing is to get patients off the waiting lists and give them the treatment they need more quickly.”

Earlier this year, a survey found some patients were waiting up to five years for cataract surgery, while the average wait for private patients was just three months.

The average wait for the procedure in public hospitals was two years and four months, according to the study by the Association of Optometrists Ireland.