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Sumit PARIKH, Mingguang He; Discrepancy in eye treatment options across the province of Guangdong, China: A Retrospective Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):6229.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The Universal Eye Health Program define a 25% reduction on the avoidable blindness from 2010 – 2019. The hypothesis is to understand the geographical distribution of ophthalmologist per population, service output per population, efficiency of ophthalmologists (number of eye surgery per ophthalmologist) and their association in the province of Guangdong, China with 2007 – 2009 data serving as a good baseline.
Data was collated retrospectively from various hospital datasets and the census register with the geographical unit being COUNTY. SPSS statistical software (Version 21, SPSS Science, Chicago, IL) was used to analyze the data. Descriptive statistical analyses were performed to characterize the data stratified by COUNTY using ANOVA. We used an advanced license version of ArcGIS 10.3 Software (Copyright @ ESRI Inc) for geographical mapping of the data. Prior to mapping, the geographical location data of COUNTY was cross-linked with equivalent Ophthalmologist and service output data using Python 2.7 to create categories and map multiple attributes of the data.
Guangdong is a province situated at the southernmost tip of Mainland China adjacent to Hongkong and Macau with 21 prefecture-level divisions subdivided into 119 county-level divisions. It topped the total GDP rankings among all provincial-level divisions making its economy roughly the same size as The Netherlands. Maximum Ophthalmologists resided in Shenzhen (N=67) with average being 13 (Standard Deviation SD=23) across the province. ANOVA of Ophthalmologists per million population was significant (p=0.031) and lead by Xinhui (1:2642). Outpatient visits per annum increased by atleast 3.8% each year while eye surgery rate per annum quadrupled from 2008 to 2009. The average cataract surgery rate per annum per COUNTY was 1122 (SD=977) in 2009. Maximum cataract surgery per annum was in Shenzhen (N=4725), however cataract per million population was lead by Xinhui (1:16, p=0.045). In this study we have also demonstrated how Ophthalmologists are unequally distributed geographically, its impact on treatment options and efficiency across the province. Our findings emphasize the need for improving quality of life.
Further studies need to establish the extent of the problem and then develop better health service delivery models to close the existing treatment gap in accordance with the Universal Eye Health Program.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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