There are an estimated 246,773 people in Ireland who are blind or visually impaired, this figure is expected to increase to 271,996 people by the year 2020. Increasing patient numbers and an increase in chronic vision conditions is placing a huge strain on the current model of eye care service delivery.
Hospital eye departments are under severe pressure and are overstretched because of increasing numbers of patients with chronic diseases, many of whom could be appropriately diagnosed, treated and managed in integrated eye clinics in the community.
As a result, ophthalmology waiting lists are at breaking point and are consistently reported as some of the longest in the country compared to all other speciality areas. Waiting list figures are updated on a monthly basis and available on the National Treatment Purchase Fund website.