27 August 2018
Faster access to cataract surgery is in the spotlight today with a forum of top health experts convened by Health Minister Brad Hazzard at NSW Parliament House.

Mr Hazzard said the Cataract Care forum, attended by frontline clinicians and representatives from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, will discuss how best to speed up access for patients, particularly in the non-urgent category.

“Last year, the NSW Government committed an extra $3 million on cataract, hip and knee surgeries and slashed waiting lists – this forum builds on that momentum,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Almost 99 per cent of the 24,546 cataract operations in NSW in 2017/2018 were performed within a clinically appropriate time – an improvement from 91 per cent in 2010/2011 under Labor. Even so, I do want people to get faster access in the non-urgent category.

“The NSW Liberal & Nationals Government is delivering sustainable health care to the people of NSW. This forum brings together all the best minds to determine how to achieve long-term improvements in cataract surgery.

“Unlike NSW Labor, we are able to work with the GP primary health networks, to bridge current gaps which add to delays and get people the treatment they need faster.”

The number of patients waiting longer than their clinical timeframe for cataract surgery has also improved from nearly 1300 patients in 2006/2007 under Labor, to 245 in 2017/2018.

“I acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our clinicians and managers across NSW Health in making NSW the best performing state for on-time elective surgery,” Mr Hazzard said.

One in three people aged over 65 have clinically significant cataracts.