gms | German Medical Science

104th DOG Annual Meeting

21. - 24.09.2006, Berlin

Provision of eye health care to the aging population in Eastern Europe

Meeting Abstract

Search Medline for

  • I. Kocur - World Health Organization, Geneva

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e.V.. 104. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft (DOG). Berlin, 21.-24.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06dogSA.10.01

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 18, 2006

© 2006 Kocur.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Since 1998 the VISION 2020 information database on eye health care services in Eastern Europe has collected data from most of the countries in the region. The objective is to monitor trends in development of eye health care services and understand the needs of health care systems for further improvement of visual health in response to the changing demographic pattern of the population.


An international working group, composed of representatives of National Eye Societies in 14 central and eastern European countries, was established. Data are collected through standardized questionnaires and communications with surgically active eye departments in the study's territory.


Over the last eight years, there was a substantial improvement in the availability and affordability of eye health care services. The successful introduction of health insurance in many countries allowed for relatively affordable eye services to be provided to patients in the higher age group. For instance, modern methods of cataract surgery, including IOL implantation, became widely available and substantially reduced blindness from unpopulated (?untreated?) cataract. On the other hand, increasing prevalence of chronic age-related potentially blinding eye conditions, such as age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma will translate into a growing demand for highly specialized ophthalmic care.


Aging of the populations and increased life expectancy will cause substantial shifts in the pattern of causes of blindness. The VISION 2020 information database on eye health care services in Eastern Europe serves as a unique source of information enabling to identify various emerging issues in the pattern of eye conditions and to plan adequate health services.