Don't get cataract surgery outside a hospital, warns health department

The government has issued a warning after hearing reports of people getting cataract surgery in private clinics and being billed directly, instead of through MCP.

Reports of surgeries being billed to patients, not through MCP, prompts advisory

The provincial government has issued an advisory after reports of cataract surgeries happening outside a hospital setting. (CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador's Department of Health and Community Services wants to talk to people who've had cataract surgery out of hospital and paid out of pocket.

The government sent out a public advisory on Wednesday, telling people not to get cataract surgery unless they are in a hospital and not to be billed directly.

"The department would like to find out more information about any potential situation where a person had cataract surgery at a facility outside of a hospital or has been told they can," said a representative from the department.

Under the Medical Care and Hospital Insurance Act, cataract surgery is not permitted to be done outside of a hospital.

The province has set up an information line to deal with the issue and was prompted by reports the department had received.

Anybody who has had the surgery in a private clinic, or has been billed directly for the surgery, is asked to call 1-833-253-8491.

With files from Mark Quinn