Half a million spend to save sight - Wishlist Org
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Half a million spend to save sight

28th October, 2021

Locals awaiting eye treatment will now benefit from almost $70,000 worth of equipment delivered to the Ophthalmology Department at Caloundra Hospital.

Wishlist – the Coast’s local health foundation – have purchased six vital pieces of investigative and treatment equipment to enhance treatment and slash waiting times at the Caloundra eye clinic.

The spend adds to Wishlist’s $430,000 contribution over the past ten years, now totalling an incredible half-a-million dollars.

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said the latest equipment will help hundreds of patients – from children with ‘squints’ and traumatic eye injuries to bed bound adults and those with retinal conditions.

Photo: Ophthalmology Surgeon Dr Warren Apel

“In total, $68,831 worth of equipment has now been delivered to Caloundra Hospital’s Ophthalmology Unit to help diagnose and treat patients with vision issues,” Ms Rowe said.

“We have now committed more than half-a-million dollars to this department alone which is a huge milestone for us as the hospital foundation.

“Through the funds raised from the 2011 The House the Coast Built, Wishlist were able to provide $430,000 worth of eye service improvement equipment for the Ophthalmology Unit. We’ve since built on that with almost $70,000 worth of equipment purchased over the past year and there’s still one item left on our ‘Wish List’ which is a $48,213 laser for the Sunshine Coast University Hospital,” Ms Rowe said.

“This equipment has changed the lives of thousands of locals and they have enjoyed access to state-of-the-art treatment right here on the Coast.

“In the past, locals would travel to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital to treatment, and many would forego these specialist appointments because of the distance.”

Caloundra Hospital Ophthalmology Clinical Nurse Consultant, Belinda Vayro said the team were extremely grateful for Wishlist’s ongoing support to meet the surging demand for HHS Ophthalmology services.

“Ophthalmology is a vital speciality within the Sunshine Coast Health Service. The diagnosis of certain eye conditions or even an accident can totally change your life and the ability for you to see. We want to shine a light on our local service,” Ms Vayro said.

“The cryotherapy equipment is widely used in ophthalmology to treat patients with conditions such as conjunctival and lid lesions, trichiasis, pterygiums and patients requiring retinal cryopexy surgery. The cryotherapy machine uses compressed gas which is stored under high pressure in a cylinder to freeze tissue”.

Photo: Ophthalmology Surgeon Dr Warren Apel and Kylie Jorgensen.

We have been able to successfully employ a Vitreoretinal surgeon within the HHS this year so we are now getting more referrals now that we can provide this vital new service. Our Vitreoretinal surgeon operates on the back of the eye and treats conditions such as retinal detachments where people can potentially go blind.”

“The retina max auto refractor helps measure the length of the eye and the curvature of the cornea. The device can be used on children with ‘squints’ or commonly known as a turned eye to obtain vital measurements.”

Each year, the service handles more than 1000 paediatric appointments, and more than 6000 adult appointments and assessments.

Wishlist is the Sunshine Coast’s hospital foundation which funds vital medical equipment, services to support patients and families, emergency accommodation and research.

Donations to Wishlist go directly to the cause as Wishlist’s operational expenses are covered by commercial enterprise, such as the Nambour Hospital carpark.


  • IC200 ICare Tonomter – Measures intraocular pressure in children and adult bed bound patients that cannot physically sit upright. This essential equipment is used for all emergency presentations and outpatient clinic patients.
  • Streak Led Ret & Prof Ophthalmoscope 3.6V + Double lithium charger – used on children and adults to visualize the fundus and red reflex of the eyes.
  • Vantage plus Led Indirect with slim line battery & charger – used to examine retinopathy of prematurity infants and adults with retinal conditions – provides a direct light source to illuminate the eye.
  • STD 2.5x42cm Galilean Loupe – used to enhance the magnification of the clinicians view when removing foreign bodies or suturing the eye lids post traumatic injury.
  • Mediview Metallic Blue Frame kit1– frame set that accompanies the Galilean Loupe Retinomax K + 5 Hand Held Auto Refractor / Kerotometer – measures the axial length of the eye and the curvature of the cornea which is used in the assessment of children that have squints and refractive errors and adults pre and post-operative cataract surgery.
  • Acquisition of Ophthalmology cryotherapy device and handpieces – to treat eye and lid conditions whereby the freezing of tissue is required.

TOTAL: $68,831