Motion on National Vision Strategy

Question Posed To: 
Minister for Health

That Seanad Éireann:

-recognises the objectives of the Vision 2020 led by the World Health Organisation to eliminate avoidable blindness by 2020;

-welcomes the establishment of the HSE National Programme for Eye Care which aims to reduce the incidence of avoidable sight loss through the development and implementation of fit-for-purpose care pathways and referral protocols;

-welcomes the establishment of the Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Program to screen and treat diabetic retinopathy which is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age in Ireland;

-recognises the strong service delivery record and commitment of a range of different professionals to eye care in Ireland;

-notes the recommendations for a national vision strategy by the National Vision Coalition,  in a report called Framework to Adopt a Strategic Approach for Vision Health in Ireland;

-notes the findings by the National Vision Coalition in its report called Economic Cost and Burden of Eye Diseases and Preventable Blindness in Ireland that five people per week became blind in Ireland since 2010, despite 75 to 80% of blindness being preventable and that up to €76 million could be saved annually if earlier intervention to prevent eye disease and blindness is prioritised;


-calls on the Minister for Health to act upon the recommendations of the National Vision Coalition for a national vision strategy and to implement cost-effective measures to prevent a further 260 people per year becoming blind in Ireland.