Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

{Govt's One-Eyed Solution to Operation Waiting List } {Woman, 82, Faces Trip to Brisbane for Eye Operation}; Elizabeth Gets Only Half the Double Procedure She Needs

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

{Govt's One-Eyed Solution to Operation Waiting List } {Woman, 82, Faces Trip to Brisbane for Eye Operation}; Elizabeth Gets Only Half the Double Procedure She Needs

Article excerpt

Byline: Melinda Siegmeier melinda.siegmeier@capnews.com.au

ELIZABETH Steel has to cover one eye up just to read the time.

She can't even leave her home.

Despite having one eye successfully operated on, her other eye is still almost blind, leaving her with blurred vision and seeing double.

Mrs Steel was in desperate need of a double eye operation but received only one as part of Queensland Health's short-term solution to reduce the urgent eye operation waiting list.

It's a solution the North Rockhampton 82-year-old was not happy with.

She said her recent surgery to remove a cataract was wonderful, but she will now have to wait months to travel to Brisbane for a second eye operation.

"I'm so frustrated. I would like the same doctor to do my other eye but (Anna) Bligh decided otherwise," Mrs Steel said.

"I am not really very happy with this decision, as it has left me with unfocused eyes. Blurry vision is all I get and going to Brisbane is the last thing I want to do."

Mrs Steel said she not only couldn't afford to go to Brisbane but found it hard to travel that far.

"But I would have to decline, as getting to the mall for shopping is quite far enough, never mind Brisbane. I am still trying to raise the money myself but I don't want charity."

Deputy Opposition Leader and Shadow Health Minister Mark McArdle yesterday labelled Mrs Steels situation as a "half-baked solution".

"Knowing that we having an aging population, and that brings with it sight problems, why does someone aged 82 have to make a decision to travel to Brisbane when proper planning should have given Mrs Steel the ability to have her condition treated in Rockhampton?" Mr McArdle said.

"As our older population continues to grow, these questions will become more frequent and without proper funding and resourcing, more older citizens will be left with a half-baked result to their medical solution. …

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