No guarantee no-one will go blind as many await eye surgery
People living in South Auckland are losing their sight as doctors struggle to treat the soaring number of patients suffering from eye conditions. The Counties-Manukau District Health Board has been struggling for years to meet patient demand and the backlog remains stubbornly high.
Auckland DHB doesn’t have a backlog, but Counties Manukau has 4000 people waiting to see a specialist. Why is there such a difference? Simon Dean is head of ophthalmology at Counties Manukau. He tells Susie Ferguson the size of their department is the main problem at Counties-Manukau DHB. It was due for an upgrade in 2013 but was sidelined because of the needs around the Christchurch earthquake.
Susie Ferguson speaks to the Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health, Andrew Simpson. He wasn’t able to give specifics on Counties Manukau, but said the Ministry expected the DHBs to be talking to each other to sort the problem.