Hospital sees good things ahead with new cataract surgical program

SMITHS FALLS, ON – Today, Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital announced its proposal for a cataract surgical program has been approved by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

“This is fantastic news,” said Linda Bisonette, Vice President, Patient Care Services. “Currently, residents are required to travel elsewhere to access such a service as the capacity to provide the necessary care has not been available locally.” Given the age of our population and our commitment to bring care as close to the patient’s home as possible, we decided to pursue this initiative.”

After reviewing numbers, hospital officials noted that 854 people annually from the catchment area are required to travel to Kingston, Ottawa or Brockville to receive cataract care.

The new cataract surgical program will be located at the hospital’s Smiths Falls site, and will be offered in partnership with Kingston General Hospital.

“Our operating room and anesthesia staff will support the program fully,” said Dr. Paul Turner, Chief of Staff adding “the approval of the program is wonderful news for our residents.”

Slated to begin in approximately 8 weeks, the hospital hopes to complete 240 procedures prior to March 31, 2007, and will continue the program on an annualized basis with an expected volume of 550-600 cases.

Reducing wait times for key health services is a top priority for the Ontario government as part of its plan to makeover the province’s health care system.

“The provincial government has identified cataract surgery as one of the five major areas of care in its Wait Times strategy and we commend the Ministry for this investment in our organization,” said Todd Stepanuik, President and CEO.  “The introduction of this program is another example of the steps we are taking to meet the health-care needs of the residents of our area.”

The government will fund the program so it will be cost neutral for the hospital, thus not impact other programs and services.

“There was a need to ensure a full and viable surgical program as we embark on the Smiths Falls re-development which will heavily focus on improving our operating room suites,” said Norene Allan, Patient Care Unit Manager, Operating Room and Obstetrics. “In addition, the new day surgery procedure will help with the retention of highly skilled clinical personnel.”

For more information, please contact:

Todd Stepanuik, President and CEO

Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital

Tel:  613-283-2330 ext. 1130

Great War Memorial Site
33 Drummond Street West
Perth, ON K7H 2K1
Tel: (613) 267-1500
Smiths Falls Site
60 Cornelia Street West
Smiths Falls, ON K7A 2H9
Tel: (613) 283-2330

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