Manitoba Daily

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

A man from Winnipeg is pleading for cataract surgery

A man from Winnipeg begs for cataract surgery

Key takeaways:

  • A Manitoba man is speaking out about his cataract problems, claiming that he needs the surgery as soon as possible because he only has 10% of his vision left.
  • Roy isn’t alone; in Manitoba, the waitlist for the procedure is long, and it’s only gotten longer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Manitoba guy is speaking out about his difficulties with cataracts, stating that he is desperate to have the surgery done because he only has 10% of his vision left.

Kent Roy was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the spring of 2020, just as the pandemic hit Manitoba.

“I can’t cook, clean, or bathe,” he admitted to CTV News on Thursday. “I can no longer do anything that I used to be able to do.”

Roy has had a difficult life. He has chronic pain that is controlled with painkillers, he has had lung surgery in the past, and he can no longer see. He claims that the only person who comes to look after him is his church’s pastor, but they are currently away for the winter.

Also read: On Wednesday, COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by 11, with 12 more fatalities in Manitoba

Roy also stated that he no longer leaves his small apartment. He can’t seem to find his radio’s volume knob or the cup of tea on the coffee table. Roy also has stopped cooking in the oven because he realizes it is dangerous.

“I can’t see; it’s the most serious problem I have,” he explained.

Roy is not alone; the waitlist for the procedure in Manitoba is long, and it has only grown longer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re looking at a waitlist of around 10,000 for cataract surgery,” said Dr. Peter MacDonald at a news conference Wednesday, providing the first update from the province’s Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force.

According to Dr. Jennifer Rahman, a private surgical center has picked nearly 4,000 cataract surgeries in Manitoba. Still, much more funding is required for both private as well as public surgical centers to address the remaining cases.

The Misericordia Health Centre is Manitoba’s eye surgery hub. Surgical centers, according to Rahman, are given funding to perform a certain number of cases each year, and if they exceed that number, the operating rooms are shut down.

A man from Winnipeg begs for cataract surgery
A man from Winnipeg begs for cataract surgery. All about vision

“Of course, this will be costly, but it is an investment in society and the health of our communities, and we aren’t doing so well right now,” she said.

The pre-pandemic national benchmark for cataract surgery wait time, according to Rahman, president of Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, was four months. As per the report released in 2020 by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Manitoba ranks second-last in the country to get patients treated in that time frame, with a rate of 21%.

According to Rahman, the average wait time for cataract surgery in Manitoba before the pandemic was 10 months; by February of last year, it had risen to 20 months.

“It’s been almost two years,” she stated. “From the time you’re diagnosed with asymptomatic cataract that requires to be surgically managed to the moment you’re managed, you’ll be dealing with a variety of issues that will affect your lifestyle, livelihood, and even your safety.”

According to Rahman, the longer cataract surgeries are postponed, the more complicated they become.

Roy is desperate to have his cataract surgeries performed after a two-year wait. He claims he is losing his mental capacity to cope with day-to-day tasks, claiming that even the simplest tasks frustrate him.

He said, “I’m at the point where it’s life or death.”

Source: CTV News

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