Wide Bay eye surgery patients without local ophthalmologist

WIDE Bay is one of only two regions in Queensland that did not provide ophthalmology services last month, forcing patients to wait or get private treatment.

Despite hundreds of people in the area who need eye surgery, Queensland Health monthly elective surgery figures show there are no people on the waiting list because there is no ophthalmologist at any of the region's hospitals to treat them.

It means Maryborough, Hervey Bay and Bundaberg hospitals are no longer taking referrals for ophthalmology surgery.

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Services is the only other region in the state to show no surgeries and no people on the waiting list in April across all its hospitals.

In other regional areas, such as the Darling Downs, the figures showed 100% of ophthalmology patients on the waiting list at Toowoomba Hospital were treated in the recommended time.

Figures released to the Chronicle earlier this week showed some people on the Fraser Coast had been waiting more than three years for ophthalmology procedures.

A health department representative said there was no specialised ophthalmology service in Wide Bay public hospitals as a result of workforce and recruitment challenges.

The representative said publicly funded ophthalmology services were provided in other regions and through partnerships with private providers.

Go to health.qld.gov.au/hospitalperformance for the figures.

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