Eye Doctors Welcome Announcement of Funding Provision for Diabetic Retinopathy Services in HSE Plan 2014

The Irish College of Ophthalmologists (ICO), the training and professional body for eye doctors in Ireland, has welcomed the announcement of a funding provision for diabetic retinopathy services in the HSE service plan for 2014.

Speaking on behalf of the College, Eye Surgeon and ICO representative on the National Diabetic Retinal Screening Programme Quality Assurance Group, Mr David Keegan said:
" We welcome the announcement of a funding provision for diabetic retinopathy services. This will allow us to put in place a cost effective care plan to the benefit of all diabetic patients and help us reduce rates of blindness from diabetes related eye disease by 50% by 2018."

While welcoming the commitment to the diabetic eye disease programme, the ICO has expressed concern about the potential impact to services of the €108 million in health cuts, out of the total €619 million in spending reductions from next year, that have to be implemented by the HSE.

CEO of the ICO, Siobhan Kelly said;
"We welcome this announcement and the contribution it will make towards preventing avoidable blindness in diabetic patients. It is essential that adequate resources are made available to treat all patients who are identified as having diabetic eye disease. The ICO seek a commitment from the HSE that adequate resources and funding will be made available to treat all patients requiring medical eye care. The highest standards of patient safety and quality of care must remain the focus at all times."

19th December 2013