New equipment a welcome sight
Thursday, 24th November, 2011
People forced to travel interstate for a five-minute eye diagnostic test have been spared the effort with the purchase of a $45,000 machine.
The Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) machine is being used in the hospital’s Specialist Department to check patients’ retinas for glaucoma - a condition which places pressure on the eyeball resulting in loss of sight.
The machine was bought with a $20,000 donation from the BH Contribution Fund, $15,000 from Silver City Charities and $500 from the Workingmen’s Club.
BH Contribution Fund Secretary, Kevin Sinclair, said the Fund was made up of local workers’ money before the introduction of Medicare and it was happy to donate to the cause.
“It came to my notice that a lot of people were travelling to Adelaide for this procedure,” Mr Sinclair said.
“You need someone to accompany you so that’s two airfares there and back which is quite expensive.
“Even if this saves 10 people a week going there and back its worth it.
“People can have treatment that is now available in our hospital.”
Ophthalmology Registrar Katherine Masselos said that the machine would also save patients having to undergo more invasive treatment.
“Another method involves putting a drip in and giving a patient dye so it was a bit more invasive,” Ms Masselos said.
“This machine can pick up the macular. It gives a photo through layers of the retina to determine whether it’s fluid or thinning.”
Specialist Clinic Acting Nurse Unit Manager, Kathryn Morrison, said that about 500 eye tests had already been done using the machine.
“It is having some very beneficial health outcomes for patients, as well as helping people access a service in their home town,” Ms Morrison said.