De­lay in eye care con­demned by MSP

The Oban Times - - News -

MORE than 200 High­land pa­tients waited at least three months to get treat­ment for eye con­di­tions over 2015/2016, a MSP has re­vealed.

The fig­ures came to light af­ter High­lands and Is­lands Labour MSP David Ste­wart took up the case of an In­ver­ness 80-year- old who waited 11 months for a cataract oper­a­tion.

In an­swer to a par­lia­men­tary ques­tion lodged by Mr Ste­wart, Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment Health Sec­re­tary Shona Ro­bi­son said 2,070 pa­tients re­ceived oph­thal­mol­ogy treat­ment with 1,839 wait­ing less than 12 weeks and 231 wait­ing more than 12 weeks.

In re­ply to a pre­vi­ous par­lia­men­tary ques­tion posed by Mr Ste­wart, Shona Ro­bi­son said that un­der the Pa­tients’ Rights (Scot­land) Act 2011 all pa­tients should re­ceive their in­pa­tient or day case treat­ment, in­clud­ing a cataract oper­a­tion, within 12 weeks of a pa­tient agree­ing treat­ment with their con­sul­tant.

‘Ms Ro­bi­son’s own stan­dard has been bro­ken in the re­gion,’ said Mr Ste­wart. ‘Any pa­tient with an eye con­di­tion should not have to face such a de­lay.’

In com­par­i­son, fig­ures for the Cen­tral Belt showed all 11,379 pa­tients were treated within the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment tar­get.

Mr Ste­wart added: ‘It doesn’t take a math­e­ma­ti­cian to work out that some pa­tients in the Cen­tral Belt, where there is a larger pop­u­la­tion, are get­ting a bet­ter ser­vice than here in the High­lands. No- one can blame our hard-pressed NHS staff be­cause it rests with the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to find a so­lu­tion.’

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