Monday, 28 May 2007

Optical Clinic Provides Service to Public


The CPUT’s Optical Dispensing unit has come to the government’s rescue by helping to reduce the workload of hospital staff who deal with patients visiting government health institutions with eye-related problems.

The hospitals in the Southern Metropole area now refer their patients to the Optical Dispensing unit’s clinic to get all necessary eye tests and spectacles, where second year students conduct regular Eyecare Clinic sessions to offer low cost eye care.

The clinics play an important role in preparing students for their future professional role. Under close supervision of qualified dispensing opticians, they not only have the opportunity to practise their dispensing skills, but also much needed communication and patient management skills, which form an integral part of being a successful dispensing optician.

The procedure is as follows: patients first go to their day hospitals and pay the prescribed R100 fee for all necessary tests and spectacles; and get tests at the CPUT clinic with the referral letter from their hospitals. The proof of payment from the hospital credits the patient access to the services offered.

The clinic is open to the general public although pensioners get spectacles and tests at a reduced price. The clinic deals with fifteen patients daily and covers mostly the Southern Metropole area. The clinic specialises in all eye tests and supplies patients with appropriate spectacles. The clinic helps to ease the workload of the hospitals in performing these tests.

In addition, patients are able to receive laser eye treatment by a trained opthalmologist on a Thursday to help control eye damage caused by diabetes. This is not the first time the Optical Dispensing unit has provided a service of this nature. In the past, the former Cape Technikon offered this service. During this time, the clinic examined over 10000 patients and dispensed over 7000 spectacles. They have diagnosed patients with various eye diseases including glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa and hypertension

*by Liziwe Ndalana

Written by CPUT News