Rs 682cr for eye care in five years

The state government has decided to give people comprehensive eye care from primary to tertiary levels under the Universal Eye Health Programme.

By Our Correspondent in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 16.03.18
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Bhubaneswar: The state government has decided to give people comprehensive eye care from primary to tertiary levels under the Universal Eye Health Programme.

The government will spend around Rs 682 crore in a period of five years starting from 2018 for the purpose.

Under the programme, five lakh spectacles will be distributed among students and 10 lakh cataract patients will be operated free of cost. Glaucoma patients will also be offered free treatment. All diabetic and glaucoma patients will be screened for free to reduce the prevalence of irreversible blindness.

Health minister Pratap Jena said: "We will provide affordable comprehensive eye care service to the people in rural and tribal areas of the state by making available skilled manpower and equipment. All cataract cases will be addressed by 2023."

A decision to this effect was taken at the state cabinet meeting, chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday evening at the state secretariat. Under the proposal, all diabetic and glaucoma patients will be screened regularly to reduce the prevalence of irreversible blindness. Adequate eye care infrastructure will also be created in medical colleges, district headquarters hospitals, sub-divisional hospitals and community health centres. Modular eye operation theatres with 20-bed eye wards will be established in 57 places and visions centres will be set up at every block and community health centre with skilled manpower and equipment.

One mobile eye care van will be introduced in every district and eye care facilities will be upgraded in seven medical colleges of the state.

The government also plans to recruit and train 300 ophthalmic assistants and 60 ophthalmic surgeons to make the programme successful.

To create the required manpower to treat the eye-related diseases, the state government has also decided to start diploma courses of optometry and ophthalmic nursing in all the seven government medical colleges and also in Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar.