Residents of the Parkland area in western Manitoba will soon have easier access to eye care, under a pilot project that will see a group of ophthalmologists travel to Dauphin once a month from fall, depending on the province.
Currently, people living in the Dauphin area must drive approximately three and a half hours to Winnipeg to access a retina specialist.
This “creates an unnecessary financial burden and additional stress for the patient and their family,” Health Minister Audrey Gordon said in a press release Wednesday announcing the pilot project.
Some of those patients require monthly injections or treatment for their conditions and often cannot travel alone, the province said.
As part of the pilot project, ophthalmologists will travel to Dauphin once a month to provide services to Ashcroft Vision Care, an eye care company located in the town of approximately 8,400 people.
The province will cover travel and supply costs for the project, while Ashcroft will provide space for the specialist in one of its clinic rooms. The province did not specify the length of each visit.
Dr. Josh Manusow – an ophthalmologist who practices in Winnipeg and is one of the specialists participating in the pilot project – said in Wednesday’s press release that he expects him and his colleagues to see 60 to 80 patients at each visit.
Ophthalmologists are doctors who can diagnose and treat diseases of the retina and treat eye conditions, including cancer.