(http://www.maculardegenerations.com) Hundreds of thousands of people in the Province of Ontario are living with either the wet or dry form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to HealthZone.ca on 23 June.
According to the online article, 400,000 Ontarians are presently living with AMD, an eye condition that could lead to blindness. What’s more, this number is expected to jump to 800,000 by 2030. Previous report have noted that the number of people who come down with AMD will likely rise worldwide as age expectancies increase due to advances in medicine.
Meanwhile, the article noted that the province may not be up to the challenge of meeting the eye wellness needs of its residents. According to the article, the number of ophthalmologists working in Ontario has not risen in proportion to the growth of the population. For instance, there were 408 eye surgeons working in Ontario back in 1992 compared to 441 in 2009, an increase of 8%. However, from 1992 to 2009, the population in Ontario rose by approximately 30%.
And things could get worse before they get better. For instance, the average ophthalmologist worked, due to the growing number of people in Ontario requiring eye care, 20% more in 2010 than in 2006. Furthermore, the article noted that eye doctors graduating in Ontario could be motivated to either move their practices to, or begin their practices in, other provinces so that they are not forced to provide important exams at a net loss to their operations. Potentially making this problem even worse is a development occurring south of the border. According to the article, the U.S. is proactively recruiting Canadian doctors on the heels of studies forecasting a 90,000 doctor shortage by 2015 in the U.S..
According to the article, research reveals that the average senior who is living with AMD would exchange as much as 45% of how ever long they have to live for any vision lost to the eye condition.
Whether any of these findings actually lead to the sort of changes that encourage more eye doctors to stay in or to set up shop in Ontario remains to be seen. The article did not suggest what steps the Government of Ontario or any other group might take to help fix the situation.