1st year students in Olhão will receive free eye care

Students in the 1st year of Basic Education at schools in Olhão will now enjoy free eye care, […]

Students in the 1st year of Basic Education at schools in Olhão will now enjoy free eye care, provided by the Chamber. In 2016, the municipality of Olho had extended the «Caring Project» to pre-school children in the municipality and will take its effort even further, «still this school year».

The guarantee was given by the mayor of Olhão, following the assessment that was made of the extension of the program to pre-school, which allowed more than 200 children to benefit from free eye screening and subsequent follow-up.

«It is with great satisfaction that we have extended the scope of this Program to the children of the municipality, and that we announce that, still this school year, 1st year students will also be covered by the Care Program, in order to also invest in screening precociousness and prevention», revealed the mayor António Pina.

According to the Chamber of Olhão, which streamlines this “unique in the country” project together with the Chamber of VRSA, «it is an innovative way of sharing and optimizing resources, which allows for a quicker and closer response to the health problems of citizens in both municipalities». The team assigned to «Care» is made up of three ophthalmologists and an optometrist.

In a first phase, the initiative focused on the most needy population in the two municipalities, including the elderly, but not only, having provided, since its creation in 2014, «about 6 consultations of this specialty to people from Olho with less economic resources».

Today, “60 consultations per week” are carried out in Olhão alone, where “150 operations have already been carried out”.

«One of the pillars of this Executive, an electoral promise that we made to the people of Olho, has been a very strong bet in the social action sector. When we see that the National Health Service does not provide answers in terms of ophthalmic health in the Algarve, we decided to take the reins of this problem, which affects so much people's health and quality of life», according to António Pina.

«In the specific case of Ophthalmology, a medical specialty that faces serious deficiencies in the National Health Service, with waiting lists for consultations of about three years, the Care Project provides considerably faster access to medical consultations and surgeries. It is intended that the initiative is preferably aimed at people with incomes below the national minimum wage or who do not have the capacity to support the costs of treatment in a private unit”, framed the municipality of Olhão.

Those interested in benefiting from the project should enroll in the Social Action Division of the Municipality of Olhão, «and are later referred to a first screening consultation, after which the respective treatments and surgeries follow, when necessary».