The Scottish Government is committed to the development of integrated eyecare services to ensure patients receive a good quality and efficient service, in a convenient setting without undue wait.
Regular eye examinations are vitally important to overall health and the free NHS eye examination provides a general health check that can detect sight-threatening and treatable conditions. The early intervention, detection and prevention of eye disease can help eliminate avoidable sight loss:
RNIB Scotland has estimated that there are around 200,000 people in Scotland with significant sight loss and with no intervention they expected to double by 2031 due to increases in the elderly population. Sight loss has a major impact on the quality of people's lives but also has a financial impact on the NHS and social care services. RNIB Scotland estimated that sight loss costs the NHS and the public sector in Scotland a minimum of £194 million a year:
The World Health Assembly 2003 has estimated that 50 per cent of sight loss could be avoided through effective prevention measures.