Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Delays in eye tests approval 'could put sight at risk'

Local optometrist Nichola Kennedy has criticised long delays by the HSE in processing Medical Card eye check application forms, saying the problem could be putting people at risk of serious sight problems, writes Brian Byrne.

She says that delays of up to eight weeks in confirming the applications are affecting up to 200 patients in her practice alone.

She wants extra resources allocated to the section of the HSE looking after the applications. Optometrists can't carry out the checks until the application has been passed, and this could mean a total delay of up to three months from the time a patient first comes to the practice and the eye check is carried out.

"The patient could opt to pay for the examination themselves, but then there's no system by which they can be reimbursed when their application is passed," she says.

Nichola adds that she and her colleagues will carry out the checks if they believe it's an emergency situation. "And patients can also have a check carried out under their PRSI if they qualify."