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.