Saturday, 23 June 2018 06:02


The SNP’s protection of free eye tests in Scotland has seen people benefit over 21 million times from the initiative since 2007 – with the Scottish Government investing over £775 million in the policy over the last decade.

The policy is a key part of the SNP’s commitment to providing world-leading services for everyone, no matter their background – which has seen over 2.7 million tests taken by children between 2007 and 2018, helping to ensure sight problems are tackled for the youngest people across Scotland.
The SNP Scottish Government invested a record £81,660,052 in the free universal NHS eye examinations last year – and more people have taken up the offer of free eye tests in each year since the SNP came to power.
Commenting, SNP MSP Stuart McMillan, who chairs the CPG on Visual Impairment, said:
“The SNP’s commitment to free NHS eye tests is a vital part of our plan to improve the health of everyone across Scotland.
“To see so many people taking up these free eye tests is great news – especially given so many children have been able to access them, with nearly 3 million taking them up over the last decade.
“And the number of people accessing this vital service has increased in every year since the SNP came to power.
“The significant investment the Scottish Government has made in eye health will be transformative for people across the country – with over £775 million spent protecting and promoting this policy since 2007.
“It is this kind of investment that proves the Scottish Government is always looking to the future – and it’s clear for all to see.”
Stuart McMillan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) adults and (b) children have had a free eye test in each year since 2006-07, broken down by (i) local authority and (ii) parliamentary constituency.

Shona Robison: The total number of free NHS funded eye examinations for children and adults carried out in Scotland in each financial year from 2006-07 is outlined in the following table. It is not possible to provide a breakdown by local authority and parliamentary constituency, as this data is not currently readily available.

Financial Year Children (under 16) Adults (16 and over)
2006-07         193,992       1,349,979
2007-08         209,006       1,412,053
2008-09         221,541       1,497,187
2009-10         227,853       1,537,552
2010-11         227,188       1,570,079
2011-12         241,578       1,665,715
2012-13         242,512       1,684,100
2013-14         254,933       1,774,916
2014-15         254,904       1,783,708
2015-16         262,196       1,846,388
2016-17         282,488       1,914,198
2017-18         288,258       1,923,926

Source: NHS National Services Scotland.
Stuart McMillan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Government what the cost has been of providing free eye examinations in each year since 2006-07.

Shona Robison: The total cost of providing free universal NHS funded eye examinations in Scotland in each financial year since 2006-07 is outlined in the following table.

Year Total cost (£)
2006-07 39,154,925
2007-08 56,321,750
2008-09 61,536,690
2009-10 66,146,846
2010-11 66,427,193
2011-12 70,894,195
2012-13 71,190,882
2013-14 73,712,048
2014-15 74,106,411
2015-16 76,620,197
2016-17 78,945,594
2017-18 81,660,052

Source: NHS National Services Scotland.

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