Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (604, 608)

Tom Fleming

Question:

604. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Health if he will introduce a scheme to improve eyecare for 12 to 16 years olds in view of the fact that at present there is no specific scheme for the majority of this age group and many of these children receive no eyecare at all; if he will take into consideration that approximately 10% of children up to the age of 12 years require glasses or contact lenses, while more than 20% do by the age of 16 years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12551/13]

View answer

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

608. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health his views on a submission (details supplied) regarding eye care facilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12602/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 604 and 608 together.

All children of primary school age are provided with an optical screening service by the HSE. Any refractive errors are treated and spectacles or other appropriate care is provided where necessary. Children between 12 and 16 years, whose parents are in receipt of a medical card or Long Term Illness card, are eligible for HSE eye-care services when they are named on their parents' cards. Other children between 12 and 16 years are eligible to be seen by a HSE eye doctor when there is a medical reason for the eye condition, rather than a refractive error. Such patients may be referred for treatment after being examined by an optometrist.