02.02.2011

Slashing hospital budgets "could cause blindness"

Slashing hospital budgets "could cause blindness"

By Alexa Kaczka

The reduction in hospital budgets in Ireland could result in may youngsters in the country going blind, according to one healthcare professional.

Dr Michael O'Keefe, a consultant ophthalmologist at Temple Street Children's Hospital, made the comments after it was revealed that the annual budget at the facility has been cut from €86.3 million (£73.7 million) to €73 million, and is set to reschedule many clinics and non-emergency surgeries.

However, the expert said that such cuts could severely affect the frequency and efficacy of treatment, pointing out that some children suffering from severe eye conditions could have their appointments delayed or even cancelled.

"I will have to postpone about 200 appointments a week. These children could have tumours, cataracts or glaucoma. It will just mean misery and suffering for patients and families," he said.

It comes after a 78-year-old grandmother from Nottinghamshire complained to the Mirror that hospital cuts meant only one of her cataracts could be treated and she is still waiting for the second operation.

by Alexa Kaczka


« Back to list