CHENNAI : Pointing out that the country has made rapid strides in building good eye care facilities with super-speciality eye hospitals, but quality care is not affordable to the poor, Vice-President, M Venkaiah Naidu, on Saturday said public sector eye-care hospitals need to be equipped with latest technologies.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the two-day 32nd Indian Intraocular Implant and Refractive Surgery Convention 2018, he said the country has to be alive and sensitive when it comes to availability of advanced treatment to the poor and the needy. Explaining that the government is making efforts for ensuring access and equity in public health care in the form of health insurance for the poor and vulnerable sections, he said the Union health ministry is set to roll out the insurance scheme, proposed in the Union budget, providing medical cover of `5 lakh to 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, which constitute 40 per cent of the country’s population.
NAIDU urged people to voluntarily pledge for eye donation. NGOs should work closely with people to motivate them in this regard.“Given the challenges being faced by the eye care sector, the Central government cannot do it alone and involvement of urban local bodies too is needed to devise a multi-pronged strategy for strengthening preventive and curative eye care,” he said.“It is significant that 36 million people suffer from blindness, 217 million people live with severe or moderate visual impairment, and by 2020, around 8.25 million will have cataract. Also, 63 per cent of blindness is caused due to cataract.”