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Srinivasa Reddy Pallerla; The changing trends in human resources and infrastructural facilities over a period of ten years in two Southern Indian States. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):5216.
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The availability and distribution of eye care workforce are essential to reach the goals of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight, the global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness. As part of this global initiative, the two Southern Indian States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana implemented the blindness control program. The purpose of this study is to assess the trends in the availability and distribution of eye health professionals across the two States over a period of 10 years and also to provide information for future planning of human resources and eye care infrastructure.
Pre-tested questionnaires were administered to all eye care professionals and eye care facilities having equal to or greater than 10 inpatient beds or performing equal to or greater than 100 cataract surgeries per annum The questionnaires were developed based on the six building blocks of universal health care system. The questionnaires were pre-tested in a pilot study conducted before the main survey. We used the questionnaires in both electronic form and hard copies to collect the data. Data were collected for two different time periods, the base year 2002-03 and target year 2012-13. Supplementary data sources were used wherever necessary. Data analysis were done using SPSS 19.0 version.
The response rate was 81.1% for eye care facilities, 96.1% for ophthalmologists, 67.6% for mid-level ophthalmic personnel. The ophthalmologist population ratio increased from 1:88260 in 2002-03 to 1:51468 in 2012-13. The mid-level ophthalmic personnel population ratio increased from 1:168283 in 2002-03 to 1:138117 in 2012-13. The number of ophthalmologists increased by 91.7% from 2002-03 to 2012-13. There was 31.8% increase in the number of eye care facilities in the Government sector, 57.1% in Non Governmental sector and 248.2% in private sector from 2002-03 to 2012-13.A high density of eye health professionals was observed in and around urban areas compared to rural and remote places.
Both the Southern Indian States were able to meet the requirement for ophthalmologists as per the goals of Vision 2020. But the number of mid-level ophthalmic personnel falls short of the ideal ratio for the population. Even among the States, there was maldistribution of eye care professionals as some districts have a shortage of eye care professionals.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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