Half of KwaZulu-Natal’s government hospitals that are supposed to provide vital eye healthcare to patients have malfunctioning ophthalmology equipment. The situation‚ which the DA has described as a "eye health crisis"‚ has resulted in a backlog of 8‚201 patients who are on a waiting list for cataract surgery — the cost of which is between R2,000 and R5‚000 a procedure. A cataract is a medical condition that clouds the normally clear lens of the eyes. Patients usually experience cloudy vision in mild cases and in more severe case‚ loss of vision. The shock statistics were disclosed by the KwaZulu-Natal health department in a written response to a parliamentary question posed by the DA. In the written reply‚ health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and acting provincial health department head Musa Gumede said five of the 10 hospitals earmarked for eye healthcare in the province had dysfunctional equipment. The hospitals with the most number of patients on their waiting lists are McCord Provi...

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