Eye care for senior citizens in QC pushed

November 1, 2021 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 172 views

QUEZON City Rep. Alfred Vargas has filed a bill that would provide comprehensive eye care services for senior citizens.

Vargas, chairman of the House committee on said visual impairment among the elderly is “a major health problem” requiring immediate attention from government.

If left untreated, eye problems among the elderly may cause physical and mental harm, he said.

“Through regular and active assessments for early detection and treatment, the State can effectively assist in maintaining the health, welfare, and quality of life of our elderly,” Vargas said.

House Bill (HB) No. 10274, or the Senior Vision Services Act, seeks to establish a National Eye Services for Seniors Program that would provide comprehensive services for visually-impaired seniors.

Covered by the bill are elderly persons who “suffer from a visual impairment that substantially interferes with their ability to perform routine daily tasks, even if they are not regarded as ‘legally blind.’”

Among the services to be extended under the Vargas bill are vision screening, eye examination, counseling, and referrals for ophthalmological, optometric, or other related services.

The bill also provides technical assistance and training for persons caring for blind or legally-impaired seniors.

“It is the hope of this measure to provide sufficient services for most of the elderly suffering from different levels of visual impairment that hinder their active involvement to society, their families, and their communities,” the Vargas bill said.

The bill allocates P50 million to cover the first three years of the program. Subsequent allocations will be included in the annual budget of the Department of Health (DoH).