I REFER to Ms Jenny Leong's letter, "2-hour wait for doc, despite appointment" in which she wrote about the two-hour wait her mother experienced at Changi General Hospital's Eye Specialist Clinic.
Ms Leong's mother was referred by her family doctor to see an eye specialist for cataract surgery.
We have carried out a thorough review of the situation and found that the duration of Ms Leong's mother's clinic visit was due to the procedures that had to be completed as a prerequisite for her surgery, rather than due to any unusual delays.
Our intention is to try to complete the entire process in one visit, if possible. Nevertheless, we do empathise with her mother's distress, and have contacted Ms Leong to provide a detailed explanation.
We would like to share with readers the procedures involved in a visit to an eye specialist clinic. A visit typically takes several hours, as the process is very thorough, involving a series of vision and eye checks and the administration of eye medicine to dilate the pupils (this medicine requires at least one hour to take effect) before the patient is ready to consult the specialist.
Some patients, including those needing surgery, such as Ms Leong's mother, may also require additional checks, such as a visual-field check, eye measurements and pre-surgery discussion and reviews.
The initial visit to an eye clinic is typically a longer one, so we do make it a point to inform every patient and caregiver about the procedures and the expected length of such visits.
We also provide this information in a prominent visual display at the clinic.
We are looking at ways to communicate this more efficiently to our patients before their appointments, so that they will be better prepared.
CLINICAL ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
MEDICAL BOARD (SURGICAL)
CHANGI GENERAL HOSPITAL
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