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Newmarket's Southlake Eye Institute receives $358K funding boost

Central Local Health Integration Network will provide cash to perform 110 glaucoma, 255 strabismus surgeries
Nov. 4, 2016
By Chris Simon

Southlake Regional Health Centre has its eye on more cash from the Central Local Health Integration Network.

The local LHIN will provide $357,695 in funding to perform 110 glaucoma and 255 strabismus surgeries at the Southlake Eye Institute, according to a Nov. 3 press release sent out by the hospital. Adults and children will benefit from the increased funding, Southlake president and CEO Dave Williams said.

“This new funding will make a significant impact on the lives of 365 more patients each year, who can receive world-class ophthalmology care, closer to home,” he said. “The Central LHIN has the fastest growing population in the province, and we are so pleased that the province continues to support us as we strive to deliver quality healthcare to all our patients.”

Glaucoma is a disease that damages the eye's optic nerve and is a leading cause of blindness among people older than 50. Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes that causes significant loss of vision in many children and adults.

Last year, 67 per cent of strabismus surgeries and 62 per cent of glaucoma surgeries for residents of the Central LHIN were performed outside of this catchment area, so the new funding will allow Southlake to perform more surgeries, reducing the burden, expense and time required for patients to travel to downtown Toronto hospitals in order to receive their much-needed treatment.

The Eye Institute is a state-of-the-art facility offering advanced ophthalmology procedures, including cataract, glaucoma and strabismus surgeries. Since it opened in September 2007, the Eye Institute has treated more than 38,000 patients from across York Region and surrounding areas. Last year, 4,611 cataract procedures were performed.

The facility will attempt to improve patient access to care through wait times that are significantly below provincial averages, according to the press release.

Southlake has also announced Dr. Arun Reginald, an ophthalmologist from the Hospital for Sick Children, will join the Eye Institute team. Reginald will help Southlake meet the demand for advanced ophthalmology care in the region. He specializes in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus surgery.

“Central LHIN’s investment supports Southlake as a high-volume eye centre in our region,” LHIN CEO Kim Baker said. “The funding advances our local vision care strategy by expanding access to specialty eye care surgeries. Increasing the Eye Institute’s surgical capacity will enable more patients to access the specialized ophthalmology care they need closer to home.”