The Odisha government has launched Rs 680 crore "Sunetra" scheme which has a provision of free eye care treatment for all the citizens of the state. The scheme was announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday. The new scheme is aimed at achieving the target of universal eye healthcare by 2023. "The scheme is for all irrespective of economic background. The people of all age can take benefit from the scheme," Patnaik said.
The scheme will be extended to all patients with cataracts, who will be operated on at different government hospitals, without any paperwork, he said. All of them will be given spectacles for free, he added. Under the scheme, eye check-up programmes will be held in schools every year and students detected with vision problems would be given spectacles for free as well. Those detected with major eye problems can also avail free treatment, the chief minister said.
Around Rs 680 crore will be spent in the first five years under the scheme, officials said. Health secretary P K Meherda said the eye care and treatment will be available at all government-run community health centres (CHCs), sub-divisional hospitals (SDHs), the district headquarters hospitals (DHHs) and medical colleges.
(With inputs from agencies.)