Access to quality opticare out of reach for ordinary citizens

As the prices of basic commodities keep soaring chasing the ever increasing inflation on a daily basis, so have medical services also become expensive making it next to impossible to access for the ordinary citizen.

With a considerable number of young people wearing spectacles to aid with their visual problems as well as headaches and older  people rarely not needing glasses, opticare has become too expensive for the ordinary citizens.

Opticians from around the country have pegged their consultation fees at US$10 or the equivalent in RTGS regardless of governments move of abandoning the multi-currency system. The fees however can only be afforded by a few individuals as most people are earning as little as US$40 to US$100 for those who are considered to be getting a decent payment.

The lenses and frame are ranging from US$65 which is evidently unaffordable.

The case is made worse as most Zimbabweans have no medical aid cover to cushion them and even those with them, it would only cover a small percentage of the bill to opticare service providers.

Unlike in neighbouring countries the medical aid covers all expenses, citizens keep languishing blindly with no hope in sight.

Many have resorted to using their expired products while others hang on to broken ones as Zimbabwe’s opticare services remain high compared to others in the region.

This speaks for the general healthcare system in Zimbabwe, which continues on a downward spiral and remains one of the most expensive in the region and out of reach for the majority of citizens who cannot afford health insurance.

Eye specialist Dr Solomon Guramatunhu has in the past embarked on a programme where he offers free treatment but it seems unsustainable without government subsidy.