WORLD SIGHT DAY – Irish Optometrists call for improved access to eye-care
Optometry Ireland (OI) has called for improved access to eye-care for all the citizens across Ireland – to mark World sight Day which takes place tomorrow (13.10.22).
The organisation which represents 700 Optometrists said eye-care “should be more Accessible, Available and Affordable for everyone – everywhere across the country”.
OI President John Weldon called on politicians, civil servants and decision makers in the HSE and the Department of Health to take a number of actions:
- “Properly fund eye-examination services though the Medical Card (COSS) & PRSI (Treatment Benefit Scheme) contracts
- Roll out a national over-8s scheme as has been stated in the Dáil by the Minister for Health rather than a piecemeal approach in different areas of the country
- Include Eye-Examinations for those who have a GP only medical card to facilitate children now included in this scheme to access eye-care
- Follow up on pledges by Government to work with Optometry Ireland to develop a new model of eye-care utilising the education, skills and training of community-based Optometrists.”
World Sight Day is an International Day of Awareness, coordinated by the International Association for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). World Sight Day is a reminder to everyone, to love your eyes (#loveyoureyes).
Mr Weldon continued: “As an IAPB member, Optometry Ireland invites everyone to think about the importance of eye health and how to protect and keep it healthy now and long into the future. Eye health impacts education, employment, quality of life, poverty and so many other Sustainable Development Goals.”
World Sight Day Information
In 2021, the United Nations adopted the UN Resolution on Vision, committing the international community to eye health for the 1.1 billion people living with preventable sight loss. The UN Resolution on Vision meant that for the first time, eye health was recognised as critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Mr Weldon concluded by highlighting that those in low-income communities and even the ‘squeezed middle’ here in Ireland are vulnerable.
“Vision loss can slowly steal an individual’s sight, and often goes undetected until it is too late. It is important that people prioritise their eye health, amongst other important health interventions, so problems can be diagnosed, treated and often cured.”
More information on World Sight Day 2022: https://www.iapb.org/world-sight-day/
See our original story on World Sight Day