Two Adelaide-based surgeons will return to their work at Nhill hospital in the next few weeks, after Victorian and South Australian coronavirus restrictions reduced the services available to patients in the area.
West Wimmera Health Service chief executive Ritchie Dodds says opthalmologist Dr Mark Chehade will return to cataracts and macular degeneration surgery at the start of November.
He will very soon be armed with a brand new tool to help in this regard.
"He had been giving injections, but South Australian coronavirus restrictions deemed his surgery not to be essential work," Mr Dodds said.
"We will also be getting back our dental surgeon from late October, now that Victorian restrictions on elective surgery have eased."
Mr Dodds said the WWHS was still working to reinstate an Adelaide-based orthopaedic surgeon who usually visited Nhill for hip and knee procedures.
"It's a relief that things are starting to return to normal," he said. "We would ask people to keep obeying the COVID-19 restrictions and be wary of travellers and hosting visitors from beyond the region, particularly if they are from hotspots. Shepparton has this week shown us how quickly things can change."
Fundraising target reached
On October 8, the WWHS announced it had reached its $70,000 fundraising target to replace the optical biometer, an eye-measuring machine.
This is used in its ophthalmologic surgery service, providing a highly accurate and non-invasive method for measuring the anatomical characteristics of the eye.
Residents Ken and Jean Schultz, representing ISPT Super Property, presented a cheque for $10,000 to Mr Dodds on Thursday.
It followed Nhill Lions Club contributing $5000 to the cause, redirected from funds from the branch's ladies' group, which recently disbanded.
"We're very grateful for the generosity of both ISPT and the Nhill Lions Club and we really appreciate the part played by the Schultz family in bringing ISPT and the Lions together in this way," said Mr Dodds.
"The combined donation of $15,000 has put us just above our fundraising target for this campaign so we'll now acquire the new equipment.
"And we also sincerely thank everyone who has donated to the campaign over the last six months.
"Dr Chehade and his dedicated team will be very happy with this outcome."
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