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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4691276, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/4691276
Research Article

The Cost of Blindness in the Republic of Ireland 2010–2020

1Novartis Ireland, Merrion Road, Dublin, Ireland
2J. E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
3Ophthalmology Department, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
4National Council for the Blind of Ireland, Whitworth Road, Dublin, Ireland

Received 11 August 2015; Revised 15 December 2015; Accepted 29 December 2015

Academic Editor: Stephen Charn Beng Teoh

Copyright © 2016 D. Green et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Aims. To estimate the prevalence of blindness in the Republic of Ireland and the associated financial and total economic cost between 2010 and 2020. Methods. Estimates for the prevalence of blindness in the Republic of Ireland were based on blindness registration data from the National Council for the Blind of Ireland. Estimates for the financial and total economic cost of blindness were based on the sum of direct and indirect healthcare and nonhealthcare costs. Results. We estimate that there were 12,995 blind individuals in Ireland in 2010 and in 2020 there will be 17,997. We estimate that the financial and total economic costs of blindness in the Republic of Ireland in 2010 were 276.6 million and 809 million, respectively, and will increase in 2020 to 367 million and 1.1 billion, respectively. Conclusions. Here, ninety-eight percent of the cost of blindness is borne by the Departments of Social Protection and Finance and not by the Department of Health as might initially be expected. Cost of illness studies should play a role in public policy making as they help to quantify the indirect or “hidden” costs of disability and so help to reveal the true cost of illness.