Queensland’s premier wants more than 11,000 vision impaired patients off the waiting list within less than 12 months.

The Queensland government has set an ambitious target to have more than 11,000 vision impaired patients seen by specialists in less than 12 months.

The government is calling for tenders from ophthalmology service providers to clear the waiting list by June 30 next year, with appointments expected to start in September.

It’s expected to cost at least $20 million to achieve, Premier Campbell Newman says.

He says about 19,000 patients with eye conditions are waiting for an initial appointment with a specialist and more than 11,000 of them have been waiting for two years or more.

“People can lose their sight or have it quite seriously damaged if they don’t get to see the relevant specialists (within a certain time),” he said.

“We are going to put our shoulder to the wheel and over the next 12 months ensure these 11,000 people are seen.

“I’m determined to make sure Queenslanders don’t go blind while waiting for an appointment.”