“Maculopathy is a circulatory problem of the retina that prevents a person from being able to read a bank statement. After the age of 70, one person in 3 risks developing the disease which, over the years, becomes more demanding. However, in Italy 70% of people with maculopathy do not have access to adequate therapies, which are further improved today, because the assistance system is stuck in the 1980s. A condition that is no longer acceptable. But there is also an economic and organizational problem because of the 7,000 only 2,500 ophthalmologists present on the national territory work in the NHS”. So Matteo Piovella, president of the Italian Ophthalmological Society (Soi), on the occasion of the 20th International Congress underway in Rome until 27 May.
“Until 15-20 years ago we were leaders in ophthalmology in the world, together with the USA and Japan, but after the Covid pandemic – Piovella points out – despite the fact that the request for treatment and eye examinations has increased tenfold, we are unable to meet all care and assistance needs.
In ophthalmology, the most performed surgery in the world with extraordinary results in 97% of cases, recalls the expert, concerns the cataract. “It consists in removing and removing the old lens – concludes Piovella – and in this way the person manages to completely eliminate visual defects, including presbyopia, improving his quality of life. Our task, therefore, is to guarantee everyone the ‘access to sight-saving care’.
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