Dáil Éireann - Volume 507 - 01 July, 1999

Written Answers. - Eye Testing.

146. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Health and Children if there is a restriction on the frequency of eye testing under the medical card; if this is consistent with the need of pensioners who would need frequent eye testing as a precaution in respect of conditions like glaucoma; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17192/99]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): On 29 April this year I launched an agreement which had been reached between health boards and the Association of Optometrists Ireland for the provision of eye examinations. One of the aims of this agreement is to reduce the waiting periods for such services. Under the terms of the agreement, which comes into force today, adults who are eligible for services under the general medical services scheme may attend any participating contracting optometrist from the published panel of the health board for an eye examination.

While it is not expected that a person will attend for an eye examination more than once every two years, it is recognised in the agreement that different age cohorts may be subject to different frequencies, as may patients whose condition requires monitoring.