Simon Jones: Missing out on myopia management
Will the strain from the cost-of-living crisis impact myopia management treatments?
Author: Simon Jones
It was a relief to see Specsavers in Southampton undertaking training on CooperVision’s myopia management contact lens, MiSight, recently.
Why was it a relief? Well, we find ourselves in a time when people are making choices on whether they should feed their children or feed themselves, put the heating on or visit a warmth bank.
Myopia management is a fantastic addition to any practice, but we cannot get away from the fact that it can be expensive, both for the products and the chair time for the patient. Although some question whether health inequality is a valid concept, there’s a real risk that if the cost-of-living crisis continues apace, many parents will be priced out of the range of interventions available for the children. I can only imagine how horrible it must be for a parent to be in that position, but for some households on ever tightening budgets, it will be an easy decision to make.
Naturally, Specsavers won’t be giving away chair time or product for free, but they will certainly make it more accessible to people. Even before the world went to pot, less well-off parents were effectively being priced out of myopia management. For this reason, I hope the Specsavers pilot is a success.
Myopia management has been the buzz topic of recent years, but I can see it slowing down quickly as parents put the brakes on their spending. Should it have been more financially accessible from the outset? In all honesty, yes. There seemed to be an assumption that even with the high costs, parents would do almost anything for their children. I’m not sure the same rings true now.