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Vision for the Future: Investing in eye health to safeguard sight

This report prepared by Deloitte Access Economics – Investment in eye health to prevent sight loss – presents an in-depth comparison of publicly available data to understand the relationship between investment in eye health and eye outcomes across eight high-income and two low-medium-income countries.

Our ability to see is not just a sense – it is a gateway to connection, independence, and an independent life.

Yet, vision impairment is prevalent globally, effecting a 2.2 billion people in 2020. Half of the people living with the consequences of sight loss do so because of the lack of access and availability to eye care services.

But there is hope: 90% of sight loss cases are preventable or treatable. By investing in eye health, we hold the key to unlock a brighter future for millions.

Our research found that:

  • Eye health need is driven by several key factors, some of which, such as investments in services and the structure of the health system, are related to government policy decisions, while others, such a genetics and socioeconomic status, are linked to biological and social causes.
  • Data on eye health expenditure is highly variable and many of the examined countries do not report it. Among the five countries who do, the proportion of health expenditure that is spent on eye health varies between 1.5% to 2.7%.
  • The relationship between eye health expenditure and vision outcomes is complex and has many influencing factors. However, it appears that when the prevalence of vision loss increases, so does the share of health expenditure allocated to eye health.

Four factors have emerged through this study as key barriers and enablers to the effective and efficient functioning of eye health systems:

  • Information: Reporting of eye health data
  • Leadership: creation of national plans for eye health
  • Workforce: adequate workforce of eye care professionals
  • Services: focussed on preventative care

The intended audience of this report includes policymakers, government decision makers, advocacy organisations and members of the general public, with an interest in preventing blindness and preserving sight by advancing the full spectrum of eye health.

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