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Eye Tests

Volume 170: debated on Friday 20 April 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his Department's latest estimate of the reduction in the number of eye tests since the introduction of charges.

We have commissioned an independent survey into the number of sight tests carried out during the first quarter of 1990. The figures collected will be compared with earlier periods; results should be available by the early summer.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether figures are collected nationally to show whether the detection of illnesses such as diabetes has been influenced by the introduction of charges for eye tests on 1 April 1989.

Information is not collected centrally on the number of patients referred by their optometrist or ophthalmic medical practitioner to a doctor for further medical investigation and diagnosis following a sight test. The number of cases seen by the hospital eye departments since April 1989 is unlikely to be available before the end of the year.