Tuesday October 18, 2016
I have had a meeting with the Opthalmology service to see if there was any way in which we could improve the referral process. They seemed quite happy with the quality of the referrals coming in from GPs.
It can be frustrating at the level of publically available funding for conditions such as cataracts but this is out of their hands and DHB controlled. About 80% of referrals for cataracts are done by optometrists. Obviously we don’t have the equipment to do full eye assessments but if we refer for cataracts the most important thing to include is the patients BEST acuity whether this is pin-hole or with glasses.
For floaters and flashers it is best if they are seen by optometrist as prior to been seen by specialist as they need their peripheral retina examined (unless of course you are confident on doing this in your office).
Watery eyes are not usually seen in the public clinic unless their vision is threatening or there is a cancer causing ectropion/entropion.
Occasionally you may have noticed that your patients will have to go to Rotorua if they have an eye emergency in the weekend. This is a historical arrangement between Lakes and BOPDHB’s. There are 3 ophthalmologists in Rotorua and 4 in Tauranga and they share this call. Although this is inconvenient for patients this is just how the contract has been arranged. It is better than in Gisborne where they have to travel to Hamilton in weekends.
Dr Jethro LeRoy