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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 April, 2004, 10:45 GMT 11:45 UK
Eye surgery hopes from 1m gift
Cataract surgery
Waiting times for cataract operations could be reduced further
A 1m donation from a mystery benefactor could result in more eye operations at a Teesside hospital.

The plans for a twin theatre suite and support room at James Cook University Hospital are going before Middlesbrough Council this week.

The donation would pay for most of the cost of building the new facility.

It would mainly deal with cataract operations and would mean doctors could treat more patients, more quickly.

Mamdouh El-Naggar, clinical director of ophthalmology at the hospital, said the donation would pay for most of the suite, although another 200,000 would need to be found.

He said: "We are looking to build a new, modern eye twin theatre with a day unit, provided that planning permission is given.

Benefactor revealed

"The main difference will be a more friendly, up-to-date environment for staff and patients, and it will increase the capacity of James Cook to cope with the extra cataract operations we have to perform."

The hospital has already managed to cut waiting lists for cataract operations from one year to six months in the past year, while consultant ophthalmologist have increased in the past five years from six to nine.

Mr El-Naggar said: "This has put a strain on current facilities which no-one anticipated.

"We have also taken it upon ourselves to reduce the wait for cataracts to three months by end of this year and to achieve this and maintain it we need the new facilities."

If it gets planning permission, the new suite could be open by early next summer, at which time, Mr El-Naggar said the benefactor would be revealed in a plaque on the building.




SEE ALSO:
Hospital's 4m eye centre opens
02 Feb 04  |  Suffolk


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