The State Audit Office Assessed the Availability of Ophthalmologic Services

7/23/2004 | 12:00 AM

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TALLINN, 23 July 2004 - The State Audit Office has formed an opinion that the control over the providers of ophthalmologic services should become more rigorous. This conclusion was reached as the result of an audit conducted by the State Audit Office, assessing the state supervision over the activities of ophthalmologists and waiting lists of ophthalmologists.

The audit revealed that waiting lists of ophthalmologists differ considerably both by regions and within one region. For example, in Lasnamäe Health Care Center in Tallinn one may be received by an ophthalmologist on the very next day while in Narva one must wait for several months. Uneven length of waiting lists is partly attributable to the fact that the patients have no idea who are providing the services and in which policlinics the waiting lists are the shortest. While the Estonian Health Insurance Fund is collecting information regarding the waiting lists, these are not disclosed to the required extent. So it is very difficult for the patent to find the medical institution with the best suited location and waiting list.

Up to now, it has not been determined by the state what could be the role of optics stores with regard to the provision of ophthalmologist’s services. At the moment, a large number of optics stores have no right to provide health care services and there is no state supervision over their activities. At the same time, many optic stores are giving the patients misleading information when advertising the reception hours of an ophthalmologist while only determining the sharpness of vision in reality.

Also, there are problems with assuring state supervision and granting activity licenses to the providers of ophthalmologist’s services. The state should inspect more consistently whether the providers of services, having been granted the license, are really working in required conditions. Today, the state can’t assure the provision of high-quality services in all the medical institutions.

The State Audit Office recommended the Ministry of Social Affairs to disclose the data concerning all the providers of ophthalmologic services and the length of their waiting list in cooperation with the Health Insurance Funds. Also, supervision over the provokers of services should become more rigorous, accompanied by determination of the role of optics stores in the provision of ophthalmologic services.

Sven Soiver
Press Representative of State Audit Office
Telephone: (372) 640 0787
GSM: (372) 53 414464
E-mail: [email protected]

  • Posted: 7/23/2004 12:00 AM
  • Last Update: 10/1/2015 10:35 AM
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