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Cataract surgeries to continue at least one more year in Alliston

Posted April 9, 2014

Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH) announced this afternoon that funding for 300 cataract surgeries has been allocated, same as last year's level, but expects to follow Central LHIN's plan "to transition the service to a two-site model, moving all ophthalmology surgery to Southlake Regional Health Centre and North York General Hospital."

There were no indications as to funding allocations for the more complex eye surgery procedures.

"All ophthalmology services in the Central LHIN are currently being reviewed by the Eye Care Committee, in collaboration with the LHIN and other service providers," according to the press release issued by SMH. "It is our goal at Stevenson to align our services with the Central LHIN position statement and the Provincial Vision Strategy Task Force."

Drs. Baseer Khan and Ray Seto made a presentation to the SMH Board last Thursday, supporting the continuation of ophthalmology services including surgery at Stevenson.

"Ophthamology has been a part of this community for about 10 years and I don't think it's a stretch to say that during that time we really have developed a world class program," Dr. Khan said. "I truly am proud or our program. When we get referrals from Sick Children's Hospital for surgical care that they can't provide there, that truly speaks to what we are doing at Stevenson. A large part of my practice comes from outside the catchment area and outside the LHIN because of the high quality and the scarceness of the services we provide."

Drs Seto and Khan also run a clinic at Stevenson at least one day each week, servicing medical needs of ophthalmology patients.

"We very much would like to continue the status quo or even expand," Dr Khan told the Board. "We have the equipment and excellent staff, however, we have very big obstacles in terms of a vision statement from the province and the direction of the LHIN."

As reported here March 20th, Stevenson's approved funding from the LHIN for the fiscal year beginning April 1, is $19.6 million, including $17.9 million base funding, $217,600 for Quality Based Procedures, $1.2 million Pay for Results funding, $184,500 HBAM and $107,000 wait times funding.

Other highlights from the past fiscal year include:
353 babies were born between April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014 - the highest annual number since the unit reopened in 2007.
Stevenson remains 2nd in the province out of 74 high volume hospitals when it comes to Emergency Department wait times.
New state-of-the-art XRay unit about to go online.

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