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“I and my RANZCO colleagues are extremely confused by Medibank’s statement about the cost of cataract surgery in Australia, especially given that it relies on 2013 data, rather than the updated 2015 data which is available and which shows that cataract surgery in Australia is cheaper than in either the US or the UK. Medibank is also very much aware that ophthalmologists’ fees account for less than a third of the cost of cataract surgery. The rest of the fees cover the costs of the intraocular lens, the anaesthetist and the hospital.
“Ophthalmologists work with patients everyday who suffer from severe eye health issues, including cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, among many, many others. They are extremely skilled and dedicated professionals who work to treat these conditions and prevent avoidable blindness. They use the latest in medical technology, including lasers and optical coherence tomography, to operate on microscopic sections of incredibly delicate organs.
“The increasingly ageing population in Australia means that patients present with more complicated conditions and greater co-morbidities than ever before. Despite this, the data shows that in 2015 the cost of cataract surgery in Australia is less than in the US or the UK.”
Dr Bradley Horsburgh
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
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The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) is the professional body for ophthalmologists — eye doctors — in Australia and New Zealand. The College acts as the voice of the profession for its 1600 members and is responsible for the training, examining and professional development of Ophthalmologists. Our mission is to drive improvements in eye healthcare in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region through continuing exceptional training, education, research and advocacy.