Ophthalmic Care Delivery in Saudi Arabia

Ophthalmic Care Delivery
Alwadani, alongside his co-authors, performed a study between November 2007 and February 2008 to determine the trends in practice pattern among the present ophthalmology residence in Saudi Arabia. The primary health care provider, in Saudi Arabia, is the Ministry of Health (MOH). This institution makes significant efforts to ensure that it provides modern ophthalmic care to its citizens. Other researchers have also established that MOH spends more than 10 percent of its heath care resources to eye care (Alwadani et al. 2010). The current ophthalmic care system has made significant progress since 1982 with the launch of the King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital (Alwadani et al. 2010). Statistics indicate that this institution has considerably decreased the prevalence of blindness and other eye-related health problems, in the elderly, by over 10 percent in the past few decades (Alwadani et al. 2010). However, it has been noted that there are certain regions and communities with relative surpluses in the delivery of quality ophthalmic care and short put of ophthalmologists and ophthalmic subspecialists.
These researchers employed written survey to collect data from ophthalmology residence. The written survey contained questions on medical education, demographic information, residency training, and career goals that affect their career choice (Alwadani et al. 2010). The results of this study indicated that the majority of ophthalmology respondents preferred practicing in urban settings (63%) such as Jeddah, Makkah, Riyadh, and Eastern area to rural settings (37%) such as Jizan, Hail, Asir, Madinah, Quassim and Baha (Alwadani et al. 2010). Additionally, 75% and 77% of the respondents were interested in practicing infractive research and surgery respectively (Alwadani et al. 2010). Research results summarize that most respondents are willing to practice in private sectors rather than public institutions. In this context, these authors recommend that the government should make an effort to encourage adoption of ophthalmic practice in public institutions other that in the private sector (Alwadani, 2010). Additionally, training in sidelined ophthalmic subspecialties should be encouraged to ensure optimum ophthalmic care delivery to all Saudi Arabia citizens (Alwadani et al. 2010).
Delivery of adequate ophthalmic care to all Saudi Arabia citizens requires assessment and analysis of the entire population rather than focusing the study on an individual’s health. Stanhope and Lancaster (2012) suggest that epidemiology should focus on the causes and distribution of disease in human population, and on developing and testing appropriate methods to control and prevent disease. In the case of this research finding, Stanhope and Lancaster agree with the authors that epidemiological studies should be population-centered both in urban and rural environments (Stanhope &amp. Lancaster, 2010). I also agree with these researchers that the high prevalence of blindness and other eye-related health problems, in the rural population, is because of lack of population-focused community nursing and inadequate availability of ophthalmologists.
Most ophthalmologists prefer practicing in private sectors to public institutions due to the high amount of revenue they collect. However, they fail to realize that private practice usually target individual ophthalmic patients. This, in turn, focuses the delivery of ophthalmic care only to some few individuals leaving the rest of the population suffer unnoticed. Therefore, I prefer health problems such as eye-related health problems, which affect a larger part of the population, to be population-focused. This is more effective when most ophthalmologists and ophthalmic subspecialists chose to practice in public institutions. This will ensure that their nursing practice focuses on a larger part of the population thus enabling them easily identify, assess, and develop a solution to a given health problem. Eradication of eye-related problems in Saudi Arabia will only be difficult if ophthalmic residence decline turning up for treatment due to some factors such as culture, religion and financial constrains.
Alwadani et al. (2010). Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. A Forecast of Ophthalmology Practice Trends in Saudi Arabia: A Survey of Junior Residents , 343–348.
Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991453/
Stanhope, M. &amp. Lancaster, J. (2012). Public health nursing: Population-centered health care in the community. Maryland Heights, Mo: Elsevier Mosby