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% since 2009. The economic and financial cost alone has escalated to $765 million over the past 12 years – an increase of 91.2%.
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’ says Mulka.
The current study conducted by Dr Keith Gordon Ph.D. (pictured) 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.