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Referrals and Advice

Referral Guidelines - Public Ophthalmology

(Please clearly identify Public Ophthalmology Referrals):

In writing to:

Regional Referral Centre
Bay of Plenty District Health Board
Private Bag 12024
Tauranga 3143

Or by:

Fax: Regional Referral Centre 07 578 9571
Email: (scanned referral attachments only)

Please note: We accept referrals from Medical Doctors, Optometrists, ED Nurse practitioners/CNS and School Vision and Hearing testers only


Please phone Tauranga Eye Specialists 07 578 7508 to speak with the duty Ophthalmologist/Registrar.
If advised/agreed urgent by the Ophthalmologist/Registrar, the referral should then be clearly marked "URGENT" and emailed or faxed directly to: OR Fax: 07 578 7508

  • Please do not phone cellphones – these are switched OFF during practice hours
  • Please do not mark ‘urgent’ if the eye pathology is not urgent

  1. Cataracts – (please consider optometry referral in the first instance as this is faster for the patient) only refer if:
    1. Binocular best corrected visual acuity is 6/12 or worse, or
    2. Best corrected visual acuity in worse eye is less than 6/36
  2. Children up to 4 years of age if vision is 6/18 or worse in WORSE eye (corrected or uncorrected)

Never refer without including best corrected visual acuity - binocular and for each eye separately (preverbal children excluded).

As the Ministry of Health requires ethnicity to be recorded, referrals that do not state ethnicity will be returned.

  1. Pterygia unless atypical or significant corneal encroachment – ie. more than 3mm from edge of cornea
  2. Childhood epiphora without infection in first twelve months
  3. Adult epiphora
  4. Children older than 4 years with 6/18 vision or better - refer to optometrist first
  5. Meibomian (tarsal) cysts UNLESS atypical
  6. Adult refractions
  7. Glaucoma screening
  8. Uncomplicated Ectropion / Ptosis / Eye lid Malposition
  9. Hydroxychloroquine monitoring unless on treatment for 5 years or more
  10. Cosmetic abnormalities without other pathology

Re: Referral consideration

With increasing referral numbers being received beyond capability of the service we are contracted to provide, we would appreciate it if you would consider whether optometry services would be able to solve the clinical problem you have in each case.

With thanks,

Mike O'Rourke, Mark Saunders, Sam Kain, Andrew Thompson, Cheefoong Chong and Mark Fajgenbaum