Arquivos Brasileiros de Oftalmologia
versão impressa ISSN 0004-2749
KARA-JUNIOR, Newton; DELLAPI JR, Roberto e ESPINDOLA, Rodrigo França de. Difficulties in access to treatment for patients undergoing cataract surgery in public and private health systems. Arq. Bras. Oftalmol. [online]. 2011, vol.74, n.5, pp. 323-325. ISSN 0004-2749. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0004-27492011000500002.
PURPOSE: To identify the difficulties in access to diagnosis and treatment of cataract in patients attended during a cataract campaign. METHODS: A questionnaire was administered to patients selected for cataract surgery. We evaluated, among others, the following variables: prior access to ophthalmologists (public or private), reason(s) for not having surgery early in the initial service, the average cost charged by cataract surgery and intraocular lens (IOL) (private services and agreements). RESULTS: A total of 627 patients was evaluated. Most of them - 595 (95%) had previously attended an ophthalmologist, and in 63% of cases (375 patients) the consultation had been held for less than a year. The last evaluation was performed by the Brazilian Public Health System (SUS) in 52% of the cases (307 patients). Regarding the reason for not having surgery in the initial service, the high cost of the surgery (R$ 2.000 - R$ 4.000) and the cost of IOLs (R$ 1.000 - R$ 1.500) was the main obstacle for most attended services and private covenants. CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that the routine of ophthalmologic care in SUS at São Paulo is not prepared to answer the demand for cataract surgeries and private healthcare system still excludes a portion of the population. It is important to continue the implementation of community campaigns to serve the population that would be unable to access the surgery through conventional ways.
Palavras-chave : Cataract; Cataract extration; Blindness [prevention & control]; Health services accessibility; Health care costs [statistics & numerical data]; Questionnaires; Brazil.