Cataract surgeries begin at the Scarborough General Hospital

Tobago House of Assembly.
Scarborough, May 10, 2013: The Division of Health and Social Services through its service provider the Tobago Regional Health Authority has begun the process of cleaning up the waiting list for Cataract surgeries in Tobago.

The first surgery was done today on Ms Josephine Nelson at the New Scarborough General Hospital by a Team of specialists (doctors and nurses) who will also be training local staff in management, so future backlogs would not occur.

The Team operated successfully on three (3) persons Thursday May 9th and have seven (7) more scheduled to be given this vision saving surgery on Friday. When they resume on Monday they will pick up the pace, operating on between forty (40) to fifty (50) persons a week as they move to eliminate the list of over two hundred known patients who are waiting.

The surgery process is elective and will see patients removing their eye patches the next day, with their vision returning soon after.

Greeting the first batch of patients was Secretary for Health and Social Service Ms Claudia Groome-Duke, TRHA Board Chairman Jennifer Fabien-Browne, Chairman and TRHA CEO, Paula Chester-Cumerbatch.

Assemblyman Groome-Duke expressing her pleasure with proceedings noted that, “people have waited long for this, but having seen the first batch successfully treated I know this is the right decision for the improvement in the quality of life in Tobago.”

The surgery being performed on the patients is called phaco emulsification and intra ocular lens implantation, and patients are generally in and out of the theatre within 30 minutes. This short operating time and recovery period will enable a large number of surgeries to be completed and patients who need care for both eyes will return within six weeks to be treated.

Secretary for Health and Social Services Groome-Duke says, “it shows that there is a bright future for Tobago with improved vision for productivity on the horizon.”

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