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Eye Disease

Volume 229: debated on Thursday 22 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the incidence of eye disease leading to blindness or hospital treatment in Northern Ireland giving the numbers of people involved.

[holding reply 21 July 1993]: Information on the incidence of all eye disease is not available centrally.Activity in the speciality of ophthalmology in Northern Ireland hospitals for the year from 1 April 1992 to 31 March 1993 is as set out below:

Day cases2,750
Outpatient referrals21,832
Cases operated on6,095

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people were registered blind and partially sighted in each year since 1985; and what figures are projected for registrations in (a) five and (b) 10 years time.

[holding reply 21 July 1993]: The information is not available in the form requested. The numbers of blind and partially sighted people in contact with, or known to, health and social services boards are presented in the tables below. This includes some people who are not registered. Information on projected figures in five and 10 years' time is not available centrally.

YearNumber of blind peopleNumber of partially sighted people
19871 33,8331,383
1989–902 42,497869
1991–922 53,1161,254
1Blind and partially sighted people known to health boards.
2Blind and partially sighted people in contact with health boards.
3Includes estimated data.
4Boards were in contact with a further 579 visually impaired people who were not categorised.
5Provisional data.