Ophthalmologist speaks up for region

THE one and only ophthalmologist in Rockhampton, Dr Anil Sharma, is hoping his visit to Canberra next week will potentially see him become one of many eye doctors operating from the region.

The Rockhampton ophthalmologist will attend the 43rd Annual Scientific Congress of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, and said the conference was also a chance to look for potential doctors to bring back to Rockhampton.

"There is a dire requirement for more ophthalmologists, as well as doctors from all specialties, in Rockhampton. It's difficult for one man. Without a team to support you, it's easy to get burnt out," he said.

The congress will reveal breakthroughs in eye health research and allow ophthalmologists from all over Australia to come together and discuss innovations, technologies and guidelines.

With Dr Sharma working from the private Rockhampton Mater Hospital and no public system alternative, many patients with eye health concerns are unable to receive treatments as they cannot afford the costly charges of private health care.

Dr Sharma has recently been appointed the Australian Medical Association Queensland Capricornia representative and is determined to address issues like this.

"I want to revive the comradeship between doctors," he said.

For Dr Sharma the first step will be the restoration of the Rockhampton Medical Association.

He will be holding a revival meeting on Tuesday, December 6, and encouraged all doctors to get involved.

Eye research findings

  • Magpie beaks carry potentially blinding bacteria
  • Siblings of people with macular degeneration have a 10-fold risk of developing the disease
  • Drinking more than two standard drinks of alcohol per day has been linked to a 20% increased risk of macular degeneration.