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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Eye health services enhanced by the Indigenous and Remote Eye Health Service

Date posted: 7 November 2011

Eye health services in Western Australia are being improved with the installation of a new state-of-the-art machine for cataract surgery at Kununurra Hospital by the Indigenous and Remote Eye Health Service (IRIS). The machine, known as the phaco emulsifier (phaco) machine, will upgrade outdated equipment currently being used at the hospital.

Visiting ophthalmologist, Dr Fred Nagle, said the arrival of the new machine would be a great boost to the remote community. 'Eye surgeons will be able to provide the same quality of surgery services that they are routinely able to offer in urban centres', Dr Nagle explained.

Kununurra local and IRIS Taskforce representative Margie O'Neill, who is the North West eye coordinator, said local eye services were moving to an exciting new level. 'The new phaco machine enables East Kimberley residents to undergo surgery in Kununurra itself rather than having to travel to Perth and stay for an extended period of time,' Ms O'Neill said.

IRIS Taskforce Chair, Brisbane ophthalmologist Dr Mark Loane said the ‘vision' for IRIS is to create a borderless Australia, where coordination of eye health services is so sophisticated even the most remote community in the country will have access to exceptional eye health services.


IRIS media advisor
Sarah Todman
Mobile: 0425 883 304

IRIS program manager
Kerry Gallagher
Mobile: 0418 720 395


Last updated: 7 November 2011
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