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Ó Clochartaigh calls for Seanad debate on vision health in Ireland

23 November, 2013


Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has called for a debate in the Seanad on vision health in Ireland.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“I have reiterated my call for such a debate given that the Vision Health Coalition has called for action on the issue.

“The Coalition advocates that the government take a strategic approach to vision health in Ireland. More than 220,000 people in Ireland are blind or vision impaired despite 75% of blindness being preventable.

“Vision impairment and blindness is expected to cost over €2.5bn per year in Ireland by 2020. 19 consultant ophthalmologists and 14 community ophthalmologists are required to meet best practice patient ratios

“In addition, vision loss is associated with the following: risk of hip fractures increase eight times, admission to nursing homes takes place up to three years earlier, and those affected are twice as likely to use health services

“The state has just seven years to eliminate avoidable blindness wherever possible, since it is committed to the WHO objectives of Vision 2020.

“The Leader of the Seanad agreed that a debate on this is important and that he would try and get a Minister to come in to the Seanad to take it.

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