Cataract Surgery

State government to expedite 17 lakh backlog cataract surgeries!

Eye Health News

The government will implement the cataract programme by allocating more than 350 operating rooms in state-run district hospitals, medical schools, civil hospitals, and other health department facilities that can offer eye-related medical care.

Pune: The state government will begin a “Preventable Blindness Free Maharashtra Mission” in November this year.

The goal is to identify and treat over 17 lakh patients with cataracts, glaucoma, squint, and refractory error in Maharashtra who have been unable to receive proper care for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government will implement this programme by allocating more than 350 operating rooms in state-run district hospitals, medical schools, civil hospitals, and other health department facilities that can offer eye-related medical care.

Before the pandemic, more than six to seven lakh cataract operations were performed each year; however, over the past two years, only two lakh operations could be performed due to the majority of hospitals’ exclusive focus on Covid patients.

Additional support for the new initiative will come from the tribal development and social justice departments and the state health and medical education departments.

The mission will be coordinated by Dr Tatyarao Lahane, professor of ophthalmology at the JJ Group of Hospitals. He told TOI that the state has about 17 lakh unfinished cataract surgeries that were all backlogged during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. Over one crore cataract patients in India were reported under the National Programme for Control of Blindness. 17 lakh of these come from just the state of Maharashtra. More than 350 OTs in state-run hospitals and medical schools will be used as part of the new mission. Additionally, NGOs that offer eye care will be included in the programme.

Dr Lahane further clarified that operative surgeries for cataracts, glaucoma, squint and refractory error would be carried out as part of the mission. He continued that the task will have the authority to combine the services of four state departments. The departments of medical education, public health, social justice, and tribal development will each play a specific role in treating patients. In a month, the mission will be launched, and hopefully, these backlog surgeries will be performed and finished in the following two years.

In the nation, Maharashtra has led the way in cataract surgery. The new multi-departmental mission will offer diagnostic and surgical services for the listed eye conditions. According to officials, adults and children can gain a lot from this new programme.

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