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Lens conditions dominate Australian eye care hospitalisations

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

Hospitalisations for eye conditions in Australia are 70% for lens surgery such as cataract removal and most are for same-day procedures, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Eye care accounted for 1 in 30 hospitalisations (around 250,000) during 2005-06, and marked a “marginal” increase on numbers since 2001-02, according to the report entitled “Eye health in Australia: a hospital perspective”. The cost of procedures in 2005-06 came to nearly Aus$233m (US$194m) for public hospitals and an estimated Aus$220 for private hospitals. Patients had to wait an average of 69 days for treatment in a public hospital, which is reportedly the longest wait time of any speciality. Native Australians and Torres Strait Islander peoples recorded fewer cases of cataract and more cases of eye-related injuries than other Australian populations. Besides this difference, rates of hospitalisation for eye-related conditions were similar across all groups.

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