India to start special drive to clear cataract surgery backlog

Delays were caused due to medical establishments slowing down surgeries due to the pandemic in the last two years: Minister

Updated - May 02, 2022 09:14 pm IST

Published - May 02, 2022 09:11 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya.

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

India currently requires 49 lakh surgeries to clear the backlog of blindness due to cataract and 53.63 lakh surgeries are needed to clear the backlog of severe visual impairment due to cataract. Over the next three years, an addition of 61.58 lakh surgeries are expected to be added to both these groups, according to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.

The delays were caused due to medical establishments slowing down surgeries due to the pandemic in the last two years, he said on Monday.

A total of the three categories would be 164.22 lakh in three years. Cataract surgeries would be now done under a special campaign to clear the backlog and the States would be given guidance to conduct the same.

“The government has proposed to increase the number of cataract surgeries to be carried out progressively in the financial year 2022-23 [75 lakh], 2023-24 [90 lakh] and 2024-25 [105 lakh],’’ he stated.

Ninety-three lakh cataract surgeries were performed between 2020-22.

‘Swasthya Chintan Shivir’

Mr. Mandaviya is also scheduled to chair the 14th conference of Central Council of Health & Family Welfare (CCHFW), an apex advisory body of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), as “Swasthya Chintan Shivir”, at Kevadia, Gujarat, from May 5 to 7.

“The objective of the three-day conference is to review the implementation of policies and programmes relating to the medical and public health sectors and to recommend ways and means for better implementation of these policies/programmes for the benefit of the common people,’’ he said.

The sessions will focus on themes such as affordable, accessible and equitable health for all, preparing India for future health emergencies, Heal in India and Heal by India, preparing a road map for Healthy India, sharing of best practices in health sector, cooperation and coordination with the States for “healthy States, Healthy Nation’ concept etc.  

The conference is expected to have panel discussions with eminent speakers and experts from the MoHFW, NITI Aayog, industry fora, start-ups, academia, etc., along with interactive sessions with the stakeholders. 

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.