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Ó Clochartaigh seeks Seanad debate on vision health

23 July, 2013

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has called for a debate in the Seanad on the Strategic Framework for Vision Health.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh was speaking after a presentation for Oireachtas members by the National Coalition for Vision Health.

He said;

“Some 220,000 people in Ireland are blind or visually impaired. This is despite the fact that 75% of blindness is preventable.

“Vision impairment and blindness is expected to cost over €2.5billion per year by 2020.

“An additional 19 consultant ophthalmologists and 14 community ophthalmologists are required to meet best practice ratios.

“The government now has seven years to eliminate avoidable blindness under its commitment to the World Health Organisation objective of Vision 2020.

“Sinn Féin maintains that there should be equality of access to a universal health service provision.

“A proper strategy could save the State billions, reduce the social and economic burden while ensuring a better quality of life for 220,000 citizens and their families.

“I call on the Health Minister to engage in the debate in the Seanad on this issue.”

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