18 February 2019

Thousands of elderly people struggling with poor vision from cataracts will have faster access to surgical services under a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the $31 million funding boost would deliver an extra 10,000 cataract surgeries over the next four years.

“Cataracts impact the lives of so many of our senior citizens – in fact, in NSW cataract removal is already the most common elective surgery, so we want to make it even easier to access,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This investment will help provide a better quality of life for our seniors and ensure we are ready to provide the services for our ageing population in the future.”

The $31 million will fund 46 clinical staff including nurses, surgeons and anaesthetists – ensuring more cataract surgeries occur than ever before.

The funding will also reduce the time between accessing surgery on a patient’s first and second eye.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said one in three people aged over 65 have clinically significant cataracts, which affects their ability to live independently and places them at risk of injury from falls.

“Thanks to the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government, 99 per cent of people receive their surgery within clinically recommended timeframes, up from 91 per cent under Labor,” Mr Hazzard said.

“However, we are committed to doing even better – this investment will ensure people receive their surgery even faster.” 

Cataract removal is already the most common elective surgery with 24,546 patients admitted in NSW public hospitals in 2017-18. In comparison, Labor only provided 19,104 cataract surgeries in 2009-10.

“Our Government’s focus on cataract treatment confirms the Liberals & Nationals’ commitment to getting it done for NSW residents,” Mr Hazzard said.​