Horizon, Fredericton clinic team up to reduce cataract surgery wait list

A partnership between the Horizon Health Network and a Fredericton clinic is expected to reduce the patient wait list for cataract surgery.

Officials said Wednesday the agreement between Horizon and the Fredericton Cataract Surgical Centre is expected to result in thousands of more cataract surgeries each year.

In a centre that can complete more than 3,200 surgeries per year, the province hopes to reduce the patient wait list and meet the national benchmark wait time of 112 days.

“When we find innovative solutions that are benefiting patients, we are working to build and expand on them with our partners in the health system,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch.

He said his department has already seen significant progress in Bathurst and promising improvements in Miramichi when it comes to reducing wait times.

“We know the team here in Fredericton is confident it can provide quality public health care through this model,” said Fitch.

Health officials said surgeries done at the Fredericton centre will be covered by medicare, as they would if performed in a hospital.

“Partnerships like this are integral in achieving Horizon’s goal to increase access to surgical services and improve the overall patient experience,” said Horizon’s interim president and CEO Margaret Melanson.

Clinic owner and ophthalmologist Dr. Ken Roberts said he has already seen how the initiative is making a significant impact.

“I am confident we will be able to help meet the goals set out by the province and provide exceptional care to our patients,” said Roberts.

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