Auckland residents at risk of suffering irreversible blindness will have the chance to be assessed by doctors at a series of upcoming “mega” clinics.

The first of four clinics is to be held at Counties Manukau Health today and will be run by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.

The college had raised concerns in 2016 that some patients risked going blind because they have been unable to get timely access to follow-up eye care appointments.

RANZCO New Zealand branch chairman Dr Brian Kent-Smith says the clinics – which will also be held on May 26 and June 9 and 23 – are part of efforts to clear a national backlog of “high risk” patients waiting for eye-care treatment.

He said it was great Counties Manukau District Health Board had taken up the college’s offer to run the clinics.

“It shows how committed they are to ensuring that their patients get access to the specialist care they need,” he said.

RANZCO said the clinics are among efforts it has made to work with the Government to help improve eye care in New Zealand.

These include a $2 million Ministry of Health fund to help the DHBs reduce the waiting lists and moves to better monitor and plan for follow up eye care appointments across all three of Auckland’s DHBs.

RANZCO said its members were also part of a group of ophthalmologists, optometrists, ophthalmic nurses, orthoptists, DHB managers and consumer representatives set up to advise the Government on how to address the patient backlog and assess the progress made by DHBs.

Source: NZ Herald

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