Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Cataract surgery

At my wit's end, I contacted Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (EPSO). Marcia Kim, ED of EPSO, explained that wait times are not controlled by the surgeons., but Ontario Hospitals. She suggested I reach out to my MPP (who has blocked me on Twitter). She suggested I read this article, as well.
Apparently, only 70% of victims in 2016/17 were 'fixed' within the recommended 116 days wait time.
On May 4, 2018 EPSO received a Letter of Commitment from the Ministry of Health committing to an additional investment in base funding for cataract surgeries as well as a further one-time investment to help reduce Ontario’s wait lists.  Moving forward, the Provincial Vision Strategy Task Force will work with EPSO to develop the policies and procedures needed to roll this program out across Ontario.

It's not been fun. Ottawa has a fabulous Eye Institute. I'm not in Ottawa.
'new' March 28th, 2012

July 5, 2019
Went into the optometrist. He diagnosed me with cataracts. I was worried I needed new glasses. That was the first symptom, I couldn't focus my right eye. I was told a two-year wait in Smiths Falls.

July 11, 2019
Went to Prism Eye Institute to ophthalmologist, Dr. Al Karmi, rediagnosed with cataracts with the consult. I was told surgery in September/October.

November, 2019
Phoned in November. Long waiting list, I was told, they are waiting for surgery times in Pembroke Hospital. Trip to Stittsville

January 9, 2020

Symptoms have increased. Now, my left eye bothers me when I read. My right is cloudier. Went into the optometrist. I asked about it. Should I get new glasses? The receptionist offered to phone Prism. She phoned and left a message. If they don't get back to me, I'm to call her back. They called me, and said they were getting surgery times at the end of this week.

January 13
I phoned Prism, and they said they'd get back to me in February. I explained my symptoms are worsening. 27 weeks since July 11, = 189 days.

January 21
28 weeks, 196 days, left eye is now blurry. Right is worse. I'm having trouble reading. Highway signs are looking like double vision in my right eye.

January 28
29 weeks, 203 days

February 5
30 weeks, 212 days

Friday, February 7
Phoned Prism, spoke to Margaret, they estimate March or April for surgery. They assured me I am on the list. I explained my discomfort. She said she'd put me as a priority.

Wed., Feb. 12

219 days, 31 weeks. 

Wed., Feb. 19th
226 days, 32 weeks
I went into the optometrist. I explained that I wasn't confident that I was getting surgery anytime soon. If they cannot predict a time, I'm not confident of the trajectory.
I'm getting a referral to an Ottawa surgeon by Dr. Martris.

Wed., Feb. 26th
233 days, 33 weeks

Tuesday., Mar. 3
240 days, 34 weeks
My right eye is increasingly foggy. I'm getting stress, anxiety and headaches.

Tuesday, March 10th
248 days, 35 weeks, just got an appointment for a consult in July with an Ottawa eye surgeon.

There is a Canadian Ophthalmological Society. I cannot find where to complain about individuals.

Making an Appointment

Please remember that a referral from an optometrist or family physician is required for a consult with a cataract surgeon.
Your surgeon will determine how urgent your case is after consultation. Not every patient waits the same length of time and more urgent cases are given a higher priority so do not wait as long as less urgent cases.

Longer wait times were also reported for cataract surgery. 71% of Canadians received cataract surgery within the recommended wait time of 16 weeks in 2017 — a decrease of 5% since 2015. The proportion of patients having cataract surgery within the benchmark declined in 7 provinces during this period. The number of procedures increased 3% over the 3-year period.

Health Quality Ontario

CIHI Ontario

Within 16 weeks (112 days) The pan-Canadian benchmark specifies surgery within 16 weeks (112 days) for patients who are at high risk. There is not yet consensus on a definition of "high risk," so the benchmark is applied across all priority levels.


Kay said...

Oh my gosh! That’s awful. The ophthalmologist said he could correct my mother’s cataracts but she doesn’t want the surgery. She feels that at 90, she’d rather not go through the process.

Red said...

Here they use a guide of if it bothers your driving so that you are having a problem.

Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

My goodness that is such a long time to wait. I had both of mine done in 2015 and the wait time was 6 months then. Now I hear from others that the wait time is much longer and it is even hard to get appointment with the eye surgeon. I was so bad they considered taking my licence away as I couldn't pass the eye exam.

Grandma K said...

I am so sorry to hear about this. My cataract was growing, but slowly. When I went for my regular exam at the end of January it was determined to qualify. I was so lucky - surgery was the next week I am three weeks out now and my vision is so perfect that it surprises even the ophthalmologist

Yours is truly one of the horror stories we hear from some Canadian medicine. Generally you all are so much better off than we - I am just thankful that I am able to get the insurance that is reasonably good. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.