Written Answers. - Ophthalmic Services.

292.

asked the Minister for Health the reason opthalmic services for medical card patients have been cancelled by the North Eastern Health Board with effect from 7 November 1980.

It is assumed that the Deputy is referring to the sight testing scheme for adults operated by the North Eastern Health Board.

The issue of authorisations under that scheme has been suspended by the board to assess the current situation in the light of claims experience to date in operating the scheme, the number of authorisations issued for which claims had not yet been received from participating practitioners and the need to remain within the financial allocation for the scheme. However, applications for authorisations continue to be accepted by the board and it is proposed to resume the issue of authorisations on foot of these applications early next month.

The other clinic based ophthalmic services operated by the board for children and adults are not affected by the temporary action taken in respect of the sight testing scheme.