Wed, Jan 24, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Nantou County to offer eye exams in regional townships

By Tung Chen-kuo and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Nantou County is to purchase equipment and hire optometrists to conduct monthly examinations in six townships to address a deficiency of such services in rural areas.

The county government has purchased slit lamps, computer equipment, tonometers and ophthalmoscopes, it said.

From this month, optometrists from clinics in the county, as well as large hospitals in the region, including the Veterans General Hospital Taichung branch and the China Medical University Hospital, have been contracted to conduct examinations at Nantou County Health Bureau branches in Jhongliao (中寮), Mingjian (名間), Guosing (國姓), Jiji (集集), Lugu (鹿谷) and Yuchi (魚池).

Optometrist visits are to be conducted on a rotational basis, staring at 9am every Thursday in Jhongliao, Jiji, Guosing and Mingjian, and on the second Wednesday and the third Friday of every month in Lugu and Yuchi, the bureau said.

A lack of medical resources in rural townships has resulted in a large population with chronic illnesses, including hypertension, hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia, Nantou County Commissioner Lin Ming-chen (林明溱) said.

Increases in diabetic retinopathy, prolonged used of digital devices and air pollution mean the county needs to invest in eye-care, Lin said.

However, a monthly session cannot meet the needs of Jhongliao Township, township Mayor Chang Yung-hui (張永輝) said, adding that he hopes the county government would increase the number of sessions.

If people use the service, the bureau would consider increasing the number of sessions, as well as purchase more equipment and employ more people, it said.

The Jhongliao Health Bureau office was filled with people seeking eye exams one hour before its official launch, the office said.

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