Local NHS management boards are restricting cataract surgery in an effort to save money, the RNIB has found.
This story has been on the news quite a bit over the last few days and cataract surgery isn’t the only operation affected. Many non urgent operations like hip replacements are being delayed by imposing tighter restrictions on who may have surgery. These restrictions are locally set up and are not the same across the country meaning surgery in Birmingham may be allowed whilst the same patient may be denied or put off in Brighton.
In any case, delays to treatment now only increase waiting lists in the future as cataracts only get worse with time. High profile money saving that affects people’s functional vision does tend grab the headlines so hopefully the government will step in an sort things out. In fact Health Minister Simon Burns is quoted as saying “If local health bodies stop patients from having cataract surgery on the basis of cost alone, we will take action against them.” We shall see.
NHS Lothian guarantee a maximum waiting time of 18 weeks from referral, but currently have waiting time of about 10 weeks.
If you are insured or able to pay privately there is virtually no waiting time. Private cataract surgery in Edinburgh with one of the top local consultants currently costs £2,200 per eye. Certain consultants have certain expertise in different forms of cataract surgery so if you need advice on who you should select, make sure you contact us first.