Emergency bus trips to help save people’s sight

Deputy Danny Healy-Rae: “This is in order to save people from going blind”

MORE buses have been lined up to take Kerry people on waiting lists to have their cataracts removed treated immediately in Belfast.

Following last weekend’s successful return bus trip to Kingsbridge Private Hospital, where patients were seen to by specialist teams, the Kerry TD has another emergency bus lined up for this coming Saturday, August 8, and another scheduled for Saturday, August 15.

“This is in order to save people from going blind. The cost of the procedure is reimbursed under the cross border directive,” Deputy Healy-Rae said.

Last weekend’s trip to and from Kingsbridge Hospital was the first since the Covid-19 lockdown commenced but the Kilgarvan politician has arranged several buses over the past three years.

The patients, who should have letters of referral from their own GPs, are assessed by a consultant and medical team on arrival in Belfast and the procedures are carried out before they return back to Kerry, following an overnight rest.

Frustrated by massive delays in having cataracts removed in their own county, many patients have been transported north to allow the procedures to go ahead.

They have been on long waiting lists for the relatively simple 20-minute cataract procedure to be carried out and one man already successfully treated in Belfast had been waiting seven years to be seen in Kerry.

The cross border directive allows patients from the south to get cataract surgery in Northern Ireland and they can then apply to the HSE for reimbursement towards the cost of the healthcare.

Those with any queries about availability should queries call Danny Healy-Rae 064-6685315 or 087-2316055.

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