Ophthalmology in Canada: Why Vision Loss Should Not Be Overlooked

The Conference Board of Canada, 37 pages, November 6, 2020
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Will Canada be able to keep up with Canada’s growing eye needs? This impact paper quantifies the value of ophthalmology from a population health, health care system, and broader societal perspective.

Document Highlights

Ophthalmologists play a critical and vital role in eye care. In 2018, there were 1,249 practising ophthalmologists in Canada, or 3.4 per 100,000 people. They performed close to 1.1 million interventions, and even more if laser surgery is included. It is estimated that the demand will grow to 1.7 million interventions per year by 2040 due to the aging population and continued evolution of effective treatment options.

The model presented in Ophthalmology in Canada: Why Vision Loss Should Not Be Overlooked quantifies the value of ophthalmology from a population health, health care system, and broader societal perspective. Our research shows that based on health human resource projections, there is evidence that the current and future supply of ophthalmologists is not following the rise in demand. Canada will need good planning to make sure there are enough health care professionals available to deliver services.

Table of Contents

  • Key findings
  • Introduction
  • What is vision loss?
  • The value of ophthalmology in Canada
  • Laser surgery for glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy
  • Medical care and management
  • Value to patients, health care systems, and society
  • The true value of eye care
  • The impact of having to stop driving
  • Advancing ophthalmology in Canada: challenges and opportunities
  • New and emerging technologies
  • Changes to prescription drug pricing in Canada
  • Impacts of COVID-19 on service delivery and demand
  • Conclusion

Appendix A—Methodology

Appendix B—Ophthalmic procedures included in the analysis

Appendix C—Bibliography

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No charge, funded by The Conference Board of Canada and/or the research sponsor

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