(1) According to the KwaZulu Natal Department of Health, Wentworth Hospital Gateway clinic has a backlog on issuing of spectacles to 300 patients. The reason for the backlog is that the institution exhausted the budget for spectacles in October 2022.
(2) There is no optometrist employed at Wentworth Hospital Gateway Clinic. However, the facility receives support from a visiting optometrist who visits the hospital once a week. There is one ophthalmic nurse employed at the clinic.
(3) The hospital has no budget to fill optometrist posts, however, the Department continues to advocate for enough funds to address this problem. The budget allocated to the hospital over the past years was insufficient to create new posts.
(4) The hospital has included the filling of the optometrist post in the budget bid for 2023/24. Additional funds for spectacles have also been requested.
Further information is awaited from the Province.