South Australia Health will alleviate the capacity crisis at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (and Lyell McEwin and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals) public outpatient injection eye clinics by funding an additional seven eye clinics per month.
This means South Australians living with wet age-related macular degeneration and other macular diseases such as diabetic eye disease, will now receive timely treatment, which can help save their sight.
Julie Heraghty, CEO of Macular Disease Foundation Australia welcomed the decision. “Access and affordability to sight saving treatment via the SA hospital system for those with wet age related macular degeneration is critical. We must have a safety net in our public health system for those in genuine need. I am pleased Minister (Jack) Snelling and SA Health have listened to community concerns.”
The Foundation embarked on an ongoing advocacy campaign in March 2014 in response to calls from concerned South Australians unable to access timely treatment for their wet age-related macular degeneration through the public health system. Some patients were waiting up to three times as long as they should for sight-saving injections.
While the present response provides a short-term solution to the capacity issues, Macular Disease Foundation Australia said it would continue to monitor and advocate for a sustainable long-term resolution to cater for the future needs of eye health for all South Australians.