Odisha CM launches free eye care scheme ‘Sunetra’

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched ‘Sunetra’ scheme on Tuesday in order to provide free eye care to all the people of the state.

Patnaik launched the eye care scheme during the state’s flagship ‘Ama Gaon Ama Bikash’ programme at the State Secretariat with an aim to achieve the target of universal eye health care by 2023.

“All the people of Odisha are included in this scheme. Irrespective of age, all will benefit from the scheme,” said Health Secretary Pramod Meherda while speaking to the newsmen.

Highlighting the benefits of ‘Sunetra’ scheme, Meherda said, “Every year, Odisha Government will conduct eye check-ups at every school in the State and if required, the operation will be done free of cost.

“Even, critical eye surgery will be done at appropriate hospitals free of cost. Besides, free power glasses will be distributed to the students having vision problem,” the Health Secretary said, adding that the people of Odisha will also be provided free eye care and treatment.

“In regards to benefits for elderly persons, they will also undergo yearly eye checkup and necessary treatment as well as power glasses will be distributed free of cost. Even cataract operation of senior citizens will be done by the Odisha Government,” the Health Secretary added.

The eye care and necessary treatment will be available at all government-run Community Health Centres (CHCs), Sub-Divisional Hospitals (SDHs), District Headquarter Hospitals (DHHs) and medical colleges.

Though no document is required to avail these free eye care benefits, one should have to register at their local CHCs, SDHs, DHHs and medical colleges and necessary arrangement have been done for the registration process.

During eye check-ups, the patient’s details will be registered with the concerned government-run health centres for future references. It would also help in overlooking a patient’s eye care history and necessary future treatment.

Health Secretary Pramod Meherda further informed that the state government has already started implementing the cost-free eye care scheme. A budget of Rs 680 crore has been sanctioned for a period of five years and Rs 50 crore will be spent in the first year.

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