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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 142-146

Resources for eye care at secondary and tertiary level government institutions in Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Eye Screening, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Research, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Anterior segment, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Rajiv Khandekar
Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Low Vision Services, Department of Research, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, POB: 7191, Riyadh 11462
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.129761

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Purpose: To evaluate the number of healthcare personnel and equipment resources for eye care at government institutions in different administrative zones of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and to recommend measures for increasing resources to address deficiencies. Materials and Methods: Data on resources (personnel and equipment) for eye care were collected from all governmental eye units in 2012. The data was regrouped by zones and administrative areas. The mid-2012 population projections were used to calculate the ophthalmologist to population ratio and optometrist to population ratio. The equipment available for eye care was reviewed. Results: All 60 institutions in 13 administrative areas and five zones of KSA participated in this study. There were 407 ophthalmologists and 147 optometrists. The ophthalmologist to population ratio was 1:43,000 (1:12,900 in the northern zone to 1:80,300 in the western zone). By 2015, 700 ophthalmologists will be required, and by 2020, 1,100 ophthalmologists will be required. The optometrist to population ratio was 1:95,000 (1:34,100 in the northern zone to 1:146,700 in the western zone). Nearly 2,800 and 4,400 allied eye care personnel will be needed by 2015 and 2020. Diagnostic and treatment equipment such as lasers, electrophysiologic and ultrasound equipment, and fundus cameras were not available at all institutions. Conclusions: Data from the private sector need to be included to draw conclusions on the human resource index for eye care in the Kingdom. An unequal distribution of resources in different zones and administrative areas requires attention. Better utilization of available resources is recommended before fulfilling the demand for additional resources.

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