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Institution of a national cataract service in Greece: a peremptory act in response to a multifarious query

Poster Details

First Author: K.Tsaousis GREECE

Co Author(s):                  

Abstract Details

Purpose:

To divulge existing problems regarding cataract operation services offered by public hospitals to citizens of Greece by using as an example the status in three administrative regions of northern Greece (Western Macedonia, Central Macedonia, Eastern Macedonia & Thrace).

Setting:

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Methods:

A qualitative analysis based on unofficial data (there are no official data available). The current report focus on two aspects: the aptness of Greek hospitals to carry out cataract operations with regard to efficiency and safety and the possible solutions to minimise the time a patient has to wait until the operation. The first question has to do with the incessant training of cataract surgeons, the detailed recording of surgical results in each hospital and finally the drawing of a defined pathway for complicated operations.

Results:

Cataract operations have been performed, during the last period, in at least 19 out of 23 hospital of the examined area. Only three of these hospitals are capable of reasonably manage complicated cases (drop of nucleus or endophthalmitis) through a qualified vitreoretinal team. Also, there is no patent pathway for cases in need of further management (i.e. vitrectomy) after a problematical operation. On top of these, the waiting lists in many units are up to a 12-month period or close to that. Results cannot be unswervingly generalised in the entire country but are indicative of the overall situation.

Conclusions:

There is an apprehensible necessity for the establishment of an independent authority that will undertake the task to manage and systematize the bulk of cataract cases in Greece of financial austerity. Eye surgeons should be assisted by administrative arrangements in order to improve the quality of surgical outcomes and also contend with capacity problems in cataract theatres. Establishment of definite criteria (visual acuity strict threshold) for a cataract removal and a centrally organised booking system which will assign patients even in different hospitals could facilitate the shortest time between diagnosis of visual impairing cataract and an operation to be achieved. FINANCIAL DISCLOUSRE: NONE

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