A Thunder Bay eye specialist says he's resuming cataract surgeries at the Health Sciences Centre tomorrow, even though a week ago the hospital said about 200 procedures would be delayed because provincial funding had run out.
Dr. Chris Francis, an opthalmologist, said he's been told the freeze has been lifted, which is good news for patients waiting for a second operation.
"A lot of patients had one eye done and were expecting to get their second eye done," Francis said. "It's really inconvenient for people that have big refractive errors to have one eye done and one eye not done. It's almost disabling because they're completely off balance. So those patients were really agitated."
Francis said he has not been told where the hospital got the money to resume cataract surgery. There has been no public announcement from the Health Sciences Centre as of yet.
He said he's not sure yet how many surgeries will be done over the next several weeks but he expects it will be about 160. Cataract procedures help patients enjoy life, said Francis.
"The reality is that cataract surgery does make a huge difference in people's lives," he said. "And usually they notice a bigger difference than they expected. It makes them safer drivers. And they're just able to do everyday things better.
More than 1,800 cataract operations were done in Thunder Bay in the past year.
Francis said he hopes the province will fund the 2100 operations he believes are needed in the city each year.