Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

    Help in sight for young eye patients

    23/12/2005 12:00 AM

    A new state-of-the-art eye scanning camera at Princess Margaret Hospital will help dozens of Western Australian children with cancer and other serious eye conditions.

    Health Minister Jim McGinty said the Retcam II scanning camera would be used for the immediate detection of eye cancers and other serious optical conditions such as retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), juvenile glaucoma and shaken baby syndrome.

    Mr McGinty today thanked the Bluey Day Foundation, which raised $130,000 for the camera, while the State Government contributed the additional $30,000 needed to buy Retcam II.

    “Thanks to the efforts of the Bluey Day Foundation, about 40 children every year will be assessed at Princess Margaret Hospital for debilitating eye conditions,” the Minister said.

    “Until now children have had to travel to Sydney or Melbourne for eye scans, which was often tiring and disruptive for young patients and their families.

    “Now children can be screened and monitored here in WA, leading to quicker and better diagnosis and treatment.”

    Retcam II works by taking a photo of the entire inside of the eye and can be used in the diagnosis of any eye condition affecting the retina.

    This latest high-tech device is in addition to the State Government's ongoing $15million commitment to upgrade facilities at Princess Margaret Hospital until its relocation to the Wellington Street Campus (North Block) of Royal Perth Hospital.

    The $222million redevelopment of the north block will include a new emergency department, a specialised paediatric intensive care unit, neonatal nursery and 10 refurbished operating theatres for paediatric surgery, which is double the number currently at PMH.

    Last month, PMH also received a new $1.2million 64-slice CT (Computer Tomography) scanner, which will assess more than 2,500 young cancer patients, trauma victims and children with brain and heart disease each year.

    Mr McGinty said the additional funding to redevelop PMH was part of a total rebuild of the State’s health system.

    “The Government has developed a 10-year health blueprint with a massive $3.6billion capital works program for hospitals right across the State,” he said.

    Minister's Office - 9220 5000