Recognising the confusion surrounding recent COVID-19 social distancing measures, Vision Eye Institute retinal specialist Dr Devinder Chauhan wants to remind patients that eye injections are considered an essential medical service. ‘It’s really important for people to understand that the main reason for continuing eye injections is to prevent blindness. Missing appointments or choosing not to have injections can cause permanent loss of vision.
The eye injection clinic at Vision Eye Institute Boronia was established in 2016 to offer affordable and convenient intravitreal injections in an effort to combat high rates of patients abandoning treatment. Now more than ever before, patients under heightened financial constraints are in need of sustainable eye injection treatments that are not cost-prohibitive.
‘Eye injections as a private patient can set you back hundreds of dollars per injection. While we are a private clinic, our service is structured so that all patients can receive treatment at minimal cost,’ says Dr Chauhan. ‘Our aim is to let all Victorian residents know that our dedicated eye injection clinic in Boronia represents an affordable alternative to public hospital and private eye clinics,’
‘If you are already receiving eye injections for a medical condition and have a current referral letter, there are zero out-of-pocket expenses for consultations and scans.’
Before the pandemic, unprecedented demand for an affordable eye injection service in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs led to the expansion of the facility. The expansion was specifically designed to support large numbers of patients with minimal wait times. ‘By expanding the clinic and our eye injection service, we are able to take on a greater number of patients, which further helps to alleviate some of the burden on the healthcare system as a whole,’ says Dr Chauhan. ‘We have also made the entire process more efficient, so people are in the clinic for the shortest possible time.’
In response to COVID-19, Vision Eye Institute Boronia has also implemented many other strict precautions to reduce the risk of viral transmission whilst at the clinic. On behalf of his highly trained clinical team, Dr Chauhan explains ‘All patients are required to undergo temperature checks before entering the clinic and we have ensured there is abundant access to hand sanitiser at all times.’
‘Over and above this, we introduced a limit to the number of patients and staff that are in the clinic at any given time and increase the time between appointments to maximise social distancing and allow time for deep cleaning.’
To further ensure the Boronia injection clinic can continue to support the demand from patients needing vision-saving injections during this period, Dr Chauhan adds, ‘We have separated teams of medical staff on a rotation to guarantee an undisrupted injection service even if some staff have to self-isolate or quarantine.’
Patients who have not previously had eye injections will need to have an initial consultation to determine their suitability for this type of treatment. Dr Chauhan explains that ‘While the initial consultation does carry an out-of-pocket cost, patients are eligible for a Medicare rebate. If the patient needs this kind of injection, they can then transfer into our affordable eye injection clinic on an ongoing basis.’
‘The clinic also accepts patients from all over Victoria,’ says Dr Chauhan. ‘As long as a patient is willing to travel, we can accept them at our clinic. For some patients, it may actually be cheaper and quicker to catch a taxi to Boronia, have their injection and then taxi home again. Unfortunately, patients can wait hours for an injection in many clinics. Our dedicated eye injection clinic ensures that everyone can access high-quality care in a private clinic during a short appointment and with a minimal out-of-pocket cost.’
‘Everybody’s sight is precious, and we want to make sure that there’s no reason for anyone to stop their injections against their doctor’s recommendation, whether that be due to cost or inconvenience.’
In response to COVID-19, Vision Eye Institute Boronia have implemented many other strict precautions to reduce the risk of viral transmission whilst continuing to guarantee reliable eye injection services. For more information, please read our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice.
Dr Chauhan was recently interviewed by Vision Australia Radio, where he explained why the eye injection service was established. To listen, visit Vision Australia Radio.
Dr Chauhan also joined John Deeks on episode 49 of the Your Life Choices podcast, ‘Mind Your Own Retirement’, to talk about Macula Month and the importance of monitoring your eye health. Listen to the podcast here here – the interview starts at 10:15s.
Simply contact our clinic and our friendly staff will walk you through the process. You will need a referral from a GP, optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Call us on 1800 MACULA or (03) 9890 4333 today.
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