New partnership to significantly increase access to cataract surgeries in Miramichi region

Partnership with Miramichi Cataract Surgical Center will see 75 cataract surgeries completed every week while enhancing OR availability at Horizon’s Miramichi Regional Hospital

(MIRAMICHI) A new partnership between Horizon and a Miramichi-based ophthalmology clinic is tripling the number of cataract surgeries being completed on a weekly basis in the region.

The agreement between Horizon and the Miramichi Cataract Surgical Center is dramatically enhancing access to cataract surgeries in the Miramichi region while increasing OR availability for other surgical procedures at Horizon’s Miramichi Regional Hospital (MRH).

Health Minister Bruce Fitch, along with Horizon’s Interim President and CEO Margaret Melanson and Amy McCavour and Dr. Trish Bryden, Horizon’s surgical care program co-leads, today gathered with the team from the Miramichi Cataract Surgical Center to underscore the importance of this partnership.

The initiative – valued at $2.3 million annually – has increased the number of cataract surgeries in the Miramichi region from approximately 25 per week to 75.

The centre has the capacity to perform up to 2,500 cataract surgeries annually. There are currently nearly 700 people waiting to receive cataract surgery in the Miramichi region.

In addition, this project will open up valuable OR space at MRH in order to increase surgical capacity for ‘long-waiting’ patients, such as those awaiting a hip or knee replacement as well as cancer patients and others with high acuity needs.

“This innovative initiative aligns perfectly with Horizon’s key priorities of improving access to surgeries and the overall patient experience, not just for those awaiting cataract surgery but also those experiencing long waits for other surgical procedures,” Melanson said.”

Cataract surgeries performed at the Miramichi Cataract Surgical Center’s modern clinic – located at 1717 Water St. in Miramichi – will be covered by Medicare just as they would be if the procedures were performed in hospital.

“We are pleased to be expanding this pilot project to Miramichi, this will give us more opportunity to see the impacts this initiative can have to reduce wait times for the citizens of our province,” said Bruce Fitch, Minister of Health. “It’s wonderful to see some patients who have been waiting for more than a year are getting the care they need.”

Dr. Nir Shoham-Hazon, medical director, owner and one of the surgeons at the centre who will be implementing this project, said the initiative is already making a significant impact.

“With our state-of-the-art centre and equipment and many years of expertise in performing these surgeries for our patients, we are thrilled to be providing exceptional care and service while ensuring much quicker access for these procedures,” said Dr. Shoham-Hazon.

Horizon has a plan to improve health care in New Brunswick. Our plan is focused on retention and recruitment efforts and improving the overall patient experience by addressing patient flow and access to services. Further details about Horizon’s four priority areas are available at

This initiative also supports the Government of New Brunswick’s provincial health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action.

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For more information contact:

Kris McDavid

Media Relations