‘Acute shortage of optometrists in India’

Kolkata: The nation needs about 1.15 lakh optometrists while it presently has only 9,000 of these professionals, leading to an acute shortage of eye-care specialists, an industry official said on Tuesday.

“There are too few professionals in optometry which is unable to meet the nation’s needs”, Bhaskar Bhat, the managing director of Titan, told mediapersons here.

He added that about 100 million people use spectacles and another 456 million of the populace are in need of eye correction.

“Many people don’t realise they are in need of eye correction. It mostly happens with school-going children who don’t tell their parents about their difficulty in vision. Only after their scores in school starts dwindling do parents realise it”, he said.

The company said east India leads the pack of the 9,000-odd registered optometrists, as 60 percent of these professionals come from this region.

Bhat said although the central government has underlined the need for optometrists, the corporate sector has done little to address it.