From May twelfth through to sixteenth in the Republic of Ireland, one hundred independent opticians who are members of the EyeZone group will be making available free six point vision tests in their practices for the support of pediatric eye health.Ireland already operate a school medical scheme for children up to the age of twelve who receive optical and dental treatment free of charge. Once the children turn twelve however, some continue to receive care but only if they possess a medical card.
Once they turn sixteen they are integrated into adult services. The figures recorded for the number of glasses and contact lens wearers in children aged twelve and sixteen doubles to twenty per cent which highlights the very urgent requirement for continued access to care and vision for these age groups and for this reason Eyezone are calling for a dedicated public eye care scheme.
Too many children who are service users are then slipping through the system and not receiving ongoing testing, support or treatment, and those that require testing and diagnosis for conditions that were not presenting during school medical schemes are receiving no eye care at all.