The Value of Scottish Eyecare

Wed 18 Aug, 2010 // Tartan Silk
Peter Carson

Optometry Scotland would like to clarify the amount that would be saved if the Scottish Government was to introduce means testing for eye examinations for people aged between 19 - 59 years old, as proposed by the Independent Budget Review Panel.

Based on the number of patients in that age range currently having primary and supplementary eye examinations, Optometry Scotland has calculated the figure to be approximately £16 million per annum. That is a fraction of the figures currently being quoted in the press, which have been extrapolated out over many years to make them look larger.

It is also important to point out that General Ophthalmic Services delivers excellent value for money to the Scottish Government. For example, the model of payment is on a per patient/examination basis and a supplementary eye examination fee claim is only £21.50 while the cost of that patient having to attend as a hospital outpatient at a cost of around £100. This in addition to the considerable reduction in workload Optometry provides to an already overstretched Ophthalmology service.

Optometry Scotland and the Scottish Government Health Department have already agreed changes to the GOS contract in Scotland, which came into force in April this year and will reduce the cost of General Ophthalmic Services by around £5million per annum.

Optometry in Scotland is delivering a high quality service in a cost efficient way that is helping to achieve the Scottish Government achieve the goals of "Shifting the Balance of Care", and deliver on their strategy of "Delivering Quality in Primary Care". Optometry Scotland is confident that the Scottish Government will wish to continue to fund a universally free eye examination, which is an essential part of NHS healthcare.

Peter Carson
Chair Optometry Scotland

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