Pune ophthalmologists urge state health minister to allow child care in eye clinics


PUNE members of the Poona Ophthalmological Society (POS) urged state health minister Rajesh Tope to allow eye clinics and OPD (Out Patient Department) centers to function as day care centers.

A day care procedure makes it possible to be hospitalized at the center for less than 24 hours, which in return allows patients to claim benefits from health insurance plans.

Tope, who was at the Poona Ophthalmological Society’s 14th annual two-day “POS Spectrum 2021” conference on Saturday, pledged to speed up the process and allow day care in eye clinics.

POS chief administrator Dr Prakash Marathe said: “Under the Bombay Nursing Homes Act, a medical facility can be registered as a nursing home / hospital or clinic. While hospitals and nursing homes can treat patients with IPD and OPD, clinics are allowed to treat only patients with OPD as they do not need any admissions. However, if the government allows eye clinics to register as day care facilities, ophthalmologists can perform most eye procedures that require less than 24 hours of admission.

“The patient can also claim benefits from various health insurance plans that require hospitalization. Even after complicated eye surgery, the patient should only be admitted for a few hours and eye clinics could do this at the daycare facilities, ”he said.

At the event, Tope also highlighted the importance of eye donation and that the ophthalmology society needs to work to raise awareness of eye donation.

He said: “We were able to reduce blindness in the state from 3.5% to almost 0.35%, which we aim to reduce further to 0.25% over the next two to five years in the part of the central government program of the national blindness control program “

“We know that cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in over 80% of cases. Additionally, some of the causes could be birth defects and also diabetes. The state of Maharashtra also provides free glasses for children, as today radiation exposure through multiple screens like television, laptop, mobile and others is inevitable. The ophthalmic society needs to work even harder to raise awareness of eye donation, ”he said.

“The number of eye banks, eye donations and eye transplants must increase. Over the past two years, due to the pandemic, work on noncommunicable diseases has been completely hampered, but now we need to fill in the gaps, ”he said.

India’s leading ophthalmologist Dr Tatyarao Lahane also highlighted the need to increase awareness of eye donation.

He said: “Although it is a smaller country than us in terms of population, we have to import eyeballs and corneas from our neighbor Sri Lanka. With about one lakh of deaths per year, Sri Lanka gets over 2 lakh of corneas and with about ten lakh of deaths we only get about 70,000 eyeballs.

Dr Lahane also said that to reduce the conflict between patients and doctors, the doctor should explain the procedure in detail not only to the patient but also to his relatives.

He said: “I have seen that more bilateral and mature cataract surgeries are coming now. Counseling is important not only for loved ones, but also for patients. With proper counseling, conflicts between patients and physicians will be reduced.


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