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New Report Shows The Cost Of Vision Loss In New Zealand Has Risen 33.6% To $3.74 Billion In 2021

A new report from Vision Research International shows the total costs of vision loss in New Zealand, including the total for lost well-being, has increased to $3.74 billion in 2021, an increase of 33.6 percent since 2009. The economic and financial cost alone has escalated to $765 million over the past 12 years – an increase of 91.2 percent.

Blind Low Vision NZ Chief Executive John Mulka says: “These figures are incredibly confronting, and it is clear that more needs to be done to address the costs of vision loss in Aotearoa.”

Unlike other countries around the world, New Zealand has never conducted a population-based study on the prevalence of vision loss.

“People are unnecessarily losing their sight and being denied access to treatment because eye care has been chronically neglected in our health system,” Mulka says.

The current study conducted by Dr Keith Gordon Ph.D. represents an update of the 2009 Clear Focus Report data using projections made with readily available data, where possible, to account for the increase in the prevalence of people living with vision loss and the increase in costs associated with vision loss.

About Blind Low Vision NZ

Blind Low Vision NZ believes every New Zealander should be able to access the eye care services they need to support the best outcomes for themselves. This means taking steps to address avoidable blindness, make the most of a person’s remaining vision, and if needed, maximise the ability to live with sight loss.

We believe that a health system that supports good eye health and vision rehabilitation services for people living with blindness or low vision is vital in nurturing the health and wellbeing of our communities.

We believe our current eye health system can do better, and we have a role to play in shaping the solutions alongside others in the sector.


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